Hawaii braces for Category 3 hurricane

Cesar Mills
August 8, 2018

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hector is expected to remain powerful through early next week, but no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Hurricane Hector is a "strong" category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour and is moving west at 12 miles per hour.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 100 miles.

Lava spewed from Kilauea since May 3 has covered 13.4 square miles (34.7 sq km) of the island's surface, destroying more than 700 homes and displacing thousands of residents.

Big Island officials are taking precautions in advance of the storm nearing the state.

"While the official forecast track continues to lie south of the Hawaiian Islands, it is too soon to determine what kind of impacts might occur in the state, since track errors can be large at long time ranges", the NHC said.

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Tom Travis, Hawaii's emergency management administrator, said: "Hector is our first hurricane this year".

Hurricane Hector, a major storm in the Central Pacific, has weakened slightly as it continues churning closer to the islands.

That would put the storm on a virtual collision course with Kilauea Volcano, situated on the southern portion of the island.

NHC also said that Hector was about to cross into the central Pacific basin as a Category 4 storm.

Scientists differ on how a hurricane could affect the volcano, but some say the low atmospheric pressure could help trigger eruptions. At this far distance, it can still change directions and avoid the Big Island of Hawaii altogether, but the high speeds of a hurricane combined with the erupting Kilauea volcano is a concern.

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