Just as Hawaii is recovering from the dreadful volcanic eruption of Kilauea, a massive hurricane, with winds up to 160 mph, is barreling toward the archipelago. Hurricane Lane was upgraded to a Category 5 storm early this morning by the National Hurricane Center, and official warnings have been issued for Hawaii’s Big Island.
A rare and sobering sight tonight in the Central Pacific, as Hurricane #Lane becomes only the 6th recorded Category 5 hurricane in this part of the Pacific, and the nearest to #Hawaii a Cat 5 hurricane has ever been observed. #hiwxpic.twitter.com/d8zLbVKjad
A flash flood warning is in place for the entire state of Hawaii from Wednesday to Friday, and the National Weather Service has told citizens to prepare for possible emergency evacuations. “Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life,” they said, adding that heavy rains could result in flooding even outside of the designated zones, causing roads to become impassable.
Hurricane Lane is expected to hit the islands in force later this week. It’s only the second-ever Category 5 storm to come within 350 miles of the Big Island, the first being Hurricane John, 24 years ago.
After striking the Big Island, the hurricane is projected to continue north over Maui, Lanai, and Moloka’i.