one two punch

Hawaii braces for back-to-back hurricanes heading towards it

It is the first time in more than 20 years that a hurricane has hit Hawaii.

Tropical Weather The two storms swirling towards Hawaii AP / Nasa AP / Nasa / Nasa

HAWAII IS PREPARING itself tonight as a rare pair of hurricanes takes aim at the holiday paradise, with the first expected to make landfall within hours.

Big Island is expected to see a direct hit from Hurricane Iselle tonight, bringing with it strong wind, heavy rain and dangerous storm surges, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center

In an unusual development, Iselle is being trailed by another, stronger hurricane dubbed Julio, with the prospect of a one-two punch placing the popular archipelago on even higher alert.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour, Iselle — a Category 1 storm — was located some 560 kilometers east-southeast of Hilo and 560 miles east-southeast of the state capital Honolulu at 12:00 GMT, the CPHC forecasters said.


“On the forecast track, the center of Iselle is expected to pass over the Big Island tonight and pass just south of the smaller islands Friday,” they added.

Rainfall of up to 12 inches

Tropical storm conditions were expected on Big Island this afternoon, with hurricane conditions taking hold overnight. Maui and Oahu were forecast to see tropical storm conditions starting late Thursday.

The haven for sun-seekers from around the world was expected to see rainfall of up to 12 inches thanks to Iselle.

“These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods as well as rock and mud slides,” the CPHC cautioned.

Rush to stock up 

Julio, which strengthened to a Category 2 storm overnight, was situated some 1,340 miles east of Hilo, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.

With maximum sustained winds of nearly 100 miles per hour, the NHC forecasters warned it could strengthen some more before slowly losing steam.

Tropical Weather A couple read a weather update in the lobby of a hotel in Waikiki earlier today. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

On its current trajectory, Julio was expected to pass to the north of Big Island as a tropical storm late Saturday or Sunday.

With the twin storms fast approaching, television images showed long lines at local supermarkets, as residents and vacationers alike rushed to stock up on water and other basics to see them through the next few days.

Tropical Weather AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that shelters would open Thursday night for residents of Oahu — home to Honolulu — and that state authorities were shutting down a slew of recreation areas that could become danger zones due to possible flash flooding and other storm-related hazards.

- © AFP, 2014

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