west and north.

Torrential rains pummelled Hawaii yesterday as Hurricane Lane closed in on the island state, triggering land slides and "catastrophic flooding", USA weather authorities said.

A meteorologist with the US National Weather Service on Hawaii, Melissa Dye, said the hurricane was moving relative slowly at about 11km/h, and has already caused flooding and mudslides on Big Island.


Hawaii residents breathed a sigh of relief Saturday after Hurricane Lane disintegrated into a tropical storm, but authorities warned that its thrashing winds and relentless rain would remain a threat into the weekend.

FEMA administrator Brock Long said the supplies arrived in Hawaii after a volcano began oozing lava into neighbourhoods in May and in preparation for a recent hurricane that bypassed the islands. Chevalier said Oahu and Maui will face hurricane or tropical storm conditions later Friday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said heavy rainfall was already occurring on the Big Island, and flooding and landslides forced the closure of Highway 19 in Hilo and Honomu, as well as several other roadways, NBC affiliate KHNL of Honolulu reported.


"The hurricane [category] strength is only windspeed".

As they prepare for Hurricane Lane, they say it's easy to think back to the Category 4 hurricane 26 years ago.

Weakening is forecast through the weekend, with Lane expected to become "a remnant low" by late Saturday or Sunday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.


United said it has also reduced fares for flights departing out of Hawaii and added two flights out of Honolulu to San Francisco International Airport on Thursday.

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