Huge Category 4 Cyclone Hurricane Lane Closes in on Panicked Hawaiians

Scramble for food and water as Hurricane Lane approaches HawaiiMore

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Hawaii was Category 4 Iniki, which made landfall on Kauai island on September 11, 1992, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Forecasters said the storm was moving to the west-northwest but was expected to make a harder turn toward the northwest and north-northwest over the next 24 hours.

In weaker storms, the eye may not be evident from satellite images and it usually takes wind reaching above 74 miles per hour for the eye features formation.

Unlike other parts of the U.S. where residents can get in their cars and evacuate, Hawaiians are confined to the islands and so sit waiting for the storm to hit.

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Unusually warm Pacific waters have sustained Lane, and Hawaii Governor David Ige is urging tourists to prepare for the worst.

The centre of the Category 4 storm was predicted to move close to or over portions of the main islands later Thursday or Friday, bringing risky surf of 20 feet and a storm surge of up to 4 feet, forecasters said. They urged those needing the Molokai shelter to get there soon because of concerns the main highway on the south coast of the island could become impassable. The last time the island was hit by an equivalent hurricane was in 1992 when Hurricane Iniki passed directly over the island and caused over $1.8 billion in damage and six deaths.

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall is expected to slow down for the Big Island as the hurricane moves on to other islands.

Oahu island, which includes the capital Honolulu and most of the state's population, is under a hurricane warning, along with Maui County and Hawaii County.

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There are three races left in the season. "Hopefully, we'll see him back in the vehicle soon", Hinchcliffe said . It looks like two cars touched and caused a chain reaction. "It's unfortunate but I just hope Robert is okay".

"It's going to be close, but hope for the best and with luck make sure everybody's ready, and if it doesn't hit us, that's good", Oahu resident Vesega Pili told the station. According to The Weather Channel, last year's deadly Hurricane Harvey brought nearly 30 inches of rain in a 24-hour period to Texas. The storm is the latest in a series of misfortunes for the island chain.

The Consul General also said that his office will remain open to serve Filipinos in Hawaii but will make an announcement if it has to be closed.

Residents of the Big Island are already rattled by the three-month eruption of Kilauea volcano, which has forced thousands of residents from their homes and engulfed hundreds of structures in lava. In fact, in terms of wind speed only one hurricane, 2015's Patricia, even cracks the top ten; all the rest are cyclones in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Hawaii is right in the path of the increasingly scary Hurricane Lane. Most areas are expected to see 10 to 15 inches while some could get more than 20 inches of rain.

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The downpours could also lead to landslides.

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