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Home / US / Hurricane Lane: Hawaii warned of "life-threatening effects" before the storm

Hurricane Lane: Hawaii warned of "life-threatening effects" before the storm

• The lane should deliver tropical storms and hurricane-strong winds with up to 30 inches of rain in parts of Hawaii, according to the National Weather Service

• President Trump issued an emergency declaration for (19659003) photo

Talbot Khakai, left, and David Halafihi closed the windows in Honolulu on Wednesday to prepare for Hurricane Lane.

Kat Wade / Getty Images

• The 15 state airports should remain open during the storm and prevent infrastructure damage. Flightaware.com reported delays at airports on the islands Thursday morning.

• The County Department of Civil Defense said floods and landslides had closed some roads including Highway 19 north of Hilo, and water was rising in streams and streams.

A hurricane threat is a "very rare event" for Hawaii.

Alex Gibbs, a forecaster with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said that a strong hurricane that came so close to Hawaii was "a very rare event".

Only two Category 5 storms have happened within 350 miles south of the Big Island in the agency's records, he said. The last one was John, in August 1994; this storm was on the west side of the islands and had "very little impact." Lane was also a Category 5 at one point before weakening on his approach.

In 1992, Hurricane Iniki made a sharp turn and turned into Kauai as a category 4 storm. It killed six people and left behind a damage of about $ 3 billion that destroyed more than 1,400 homes and more than 14,000 with at least one left behind some damage. Electricity and telephone lines were on the island for weeks, and crops such as bananas and papaya were destroyed.

Such passes are sometimes so rare because "the islands are very small in relation to the central basin in the Pacific Ocean," Gibbs said. (Other conditions that make Hawaii a rare target of hurricanes are the cooler water temperatures near the islands and wind shear that weakens storms.)

However, the situation with Lane is "a bit different" than usual, Mr. Gibbs said

The danger felt new and deeply disconcerting to some residents who followed the meteorological service's advice that "preparations for the protection of life and property should be completed."

"Maui has never experienced anything like this, it's serious," said Audrey Reed, 76, a resident of the island, on Wednesday. "We have everything we need: batteries, water, canned and dry food, medicines, first aid kits, flashlights, and now it's just one more thing to settle down and try."

Path of the hurricane Lane Card: Pursuit of Hawaii's Last Storm

The storm approached Hawaii on Wednesday.

The agency's forecast assumes that the storm towards the country will weaken significantly. Nevertheless, Lane is expected to cause severe damage to Hawaii's main islands with winds that will accelerate along steep mountain slopes and tall buildings.

The fact that Lane is a slow-moving storm means that it is likely to dump vast amounts of rain, too, with "life-threatening flash floods and landslides across all Hawaiian islands," the Weather Service said.

Hawaii's remote geography and mountainous terrain could present challenges for recovery in the event of widespread damage, and Governor Ige urged people to have a fortnightly supply of food before the storm.

This is the third time in less than a year that Hawaii has prepared for a possible disaster. In January, an urgent emergency warning of an incoming ballistic missile triggered an island-wide panic. In May, Kilauea volcano erupted and lava rolled over roads and houses in the same area now under flood tide.

Pancakes and Preparations

As some tourists tried to decide if they would stay or many residents seemed to cope with the hurricane step by step.

On a ridge overlooking the huge volcanic cone Diamond Head, Bob Larsen brought in the outdoor furniture on Thursday morning and made pancakes just as he did the day of the rocket warning. The grim warnings made for a rousing juxtaposition with their stunning surroundings, but he and his partner, Irna Hirano, 70, a retired teacher, hoped they were prepared.

"We have water, canned and dry food and a freezer full of provisions," Ms. Hirano said, hoping that her solar power system would provide enough energy to power the fire and refrigerator through the storm.

Irene Tanabe, 67, a Episcopal rector in Honolulu, said her parishioners responded impassively to the impending storm: "We can not help it."


Alex Krivoulian, right, set himself up on the water in Honolulu. Residents were advised to collect food and water that could last up to 14 days.

Kat Wade / Getty Images

But Ms. Tanabe was mildly worried about her house, which was not being retrofitted for a hurricane. "When the roof blows, it means I have less stuff," Ms. Tanabe said. "And at my age, that's a good thing."

Elsewhere in Honolulu, casualties and outreach workers for homeless people tried to warn their customers that the storm could be dangerous. There are approximately 7,000 or 8,000 homeless people on Oahu Island, said Kimo Carvalho with the Institute for Human Services, whose organization was on the phone and scouring the streets, trying to get people into emergency shelters.

"There are actually a lot of homeless customers who are just saying we will withstand the storm," Carvalho said. "We try to convince her to take it seriously."

Climate change has been linked to stronger storms.

Climate change does not cause hurricanes; They have always been a feature of the Atlantic and Pacific Basins. But scientists say that climate change can make hurricanes like Lane more harmful for several reasons.

Kristen Corbosiero, an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany, commented, "It's hard to attribute climate change to any system," but she said that scientific research shows that climate change has led to rising sea levels has been able to amplify the storm surge. And the warming brings more moisture into the atmosphere and causes greater rainfall.

In a place like Hawaii, that means flooding and landslides. In addition, recent research indicates that climate change has led to a trend of storms that are developing more slowly. "They all are more damaged by hurricanes," she said.

The study compiled by the Climate Signals website also suggests that climate change is causing the strongest storms to become even stronger than they otherwise would be. The warming of ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific increases the energy that storms passing by can absorb; The sea temperatures along the Lane route were more than four degrees Fahrenheit this summer.

Hurricane Lane arrives as other parts of the country are still recovering from the megastorms of 2017. Hurricane Harvey met with dozens of deaths and catastrophic floods in Houston exactly one year ago, followed by hurricane Irmas Wallop in Florida.

Then came Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which according to an analysis could have killed more than 1400 people and caused massive power outages. Some of the last residents were still in power earlier this month.

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