23 Aug 2018

Category four Hurricane Lane continues heading towards Hawaii

2:21 pm on 23 August 2018

Hurricane Lane has weakened to a category four storm as it heads towards Hawaii where residents are bracing for "life threatening" winds and flooding.

The hurricane, which briefly reached category five status overnight, is still highly destructive as a category four with sustained winds of up to 249 km/h.

Its centre is expected to pass just south of Hawaii's Big Island tomorrow which is Thursday local time.

Satellite photo of Hurricane Lane south east of Hawaii, 21-8-2018.

Satellite photo of Hurricane Lane south east of Hawaii, 21-8-2018. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Big Island Interior, Big Island North and East, Big Island Summits, Kohala, Kona, and South Big Island.

A Hurricane watch is in effect for the rest of the Hawaiian islands.

The National Weather Service's last warning said Hurricane Lane was located about 820 kms south-southeast of Honolulu or about 580 kms south-southeast of Kailua-Kona overnight.

The system is travelling west northwest at about 15km/h.

After hitting the Big Island, the storm is expected to churn north over the islands of Maui, Lanai and Moloka'i, which are all under hurricane and flash flood watches.

Local authorities are warning residents that rainfall of 51cm in some areas could lead to major flash flooding, landslides and mudslides.

They also warn that devastation caused by winds and flooding may make locations uninhabitable for weeks and authorities warned Hawaii residents to be prepared to evacuate their homes.

The Big Island is still reeling from a three-month eruption of Kilauea volcano, which forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and engulfed hundreds of structures in lava.