Hawaii is expected to be hit by a category 4 hurricane this week. The storm is likely to hit close to the islands, with a direct landfall possible later during the week. The Central Pacific island chain was hit by Hurricane Hector just two weeks back. Hurricane Lane, however is expected to impact Hawaii much more than Hector did.
Hawaii and Maui counties in the eastern part of the islands have been issued hurricane watches, which indicate possible hurricane conditions within the watch area, according to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Central Pacific Hurricane Centre in Honolulu.
Hurricane Lane poses a "potential threat to life and property", according to the NWS, and "efforts to protect property should now be underway".
More watches and even warnings could be necessary for additional islands as the storm moves closer in the next day or two.
Lane had maximum wind speed of 250 km/h on Tuesday and was nearly 893 kms southeast of Honolulu. The storm further moved westward at 16 km/h.
Forecasts indicate Lane will turn to a more northerly direction by Wednesday, which will bring the centre of storm very close to Hawaii and Maui on Thursday, the Hurricane Centre said.
American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines issued travel advisories to customers flying to or from Hawaii.