Washington (AP) – Hurricane “Douglas” has reached the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific.
According to the US National Hurricane Center, the eye of the cyclone was on Sunday evening (local time, Monday morning CEST) 105 kilometers east-northeast of Honolulu, the capital of the US state of Hawaii. With wind speeds of 140 kilometers per hour, the storm slowly moved in a west-northwest direction.
Initially, nothing was known about major damage. Authorities had warned of life-threatening and potentially destructive waves, heavy rains and dangerous storm surges. On the island of Maui, people were told to take shelter at home and avoid roads if possible. Hawaii is rarely reached by hurricanes.
The tropical storms are named in alphabetical order; there are separate tables for the Atlantic and the Pacific each year. “Douglas” is the fourth storm this year in the Pacific.
Storm “Hanna” hit land on Saturday in the US state of Texas on the Atlantic side of the American continent. It was the first Atlantic storm of the season to reach hurricane strength. On Sunday evening (local time) it had weakened over northeast Mexico to a tropical low with wind speeds of only 45 kilometers per hour. The weather service continued to warn of heavy rain and flooding.
“Hanna” had brought heavy rains with it. CNN reported that more than 250,000 households in southern Texas had lost their power as a result of the storm. Governor Greg Abbott had declared a state of emergency for numerous counties in Texas. The corona pandemic, which is rampant there, makes the work of the helpers in the storm more difficult, Abbott said according to the US media.
According to a forecast from May, NOAA expected an above-average hurricane season over the Atlantic this year. From June to the end of November, up to ten hurricanes can be expected, of which up to six could become very strong cyclones, the authority had said. On average there are six hurricanes over the Atlantic each year, three of which develop into storms of great strength.