WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – Hurricane “Douglas” in the Pacific threatens the islands of the US state of Hawaii: The National Hurricane Center of the US climate agency NOAA announced that the cyclone with wind speeds of around 140 kilometers per hour will be on Sunday and at night on Monday from Maui to Kauai across the islands or just past them. Life-threatening high and potentially destructive waves, heavy rains and dangerous storm surges were predicted.
The Hawaii Civil Protection Agency said that relief supplies had been delivered to Maui in preparation for the storm. The authorities urged Maui people to seek shelter at home and avoid streets as much as possible. The Red Cross in Hawaii said it was preparing for the hurricane.
The first hurricane of the season this year hit the Atlantic on Saturday in the US state of Texas. The lowest level one hurricane hit the coast at wind speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. Then “Hanna” weakened and was downgraded to the tropical storm. The weather authority expected the storm to dissolve on Monday.
“Hanna” brought heavy rains with it. The broadcaster CNN reported that in the south of Texas, more than 250,000 households lost power due to the storm. A port in Corpus Christi was damaged, the local broadcaster KRIS reported.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, had declared a state of emergency for numerous counties. The raging corona pandemic is complicating the work of the relief workers during the storm, Abbott said, according to US media. “This challenge is complicated and is compounded by the fact that it sweeps through an area that is the most affected area in the state by Covid-19.” According to the Johns Hopkins University, some 5,000 people have died in Texas alone as a result of the corona pandemic.
According to a forecast from May, NOAA expected an above-average active 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 be very severe cyclones, the authority had said. There are an average of six hurricanes per year across the Atlantic, three of which are becoming storms of great magnitude.
In view of the available climate data and the higher water temperature in the Atlantic and the Caribbean, the probability of a normal season was only 30 percent, that of a below-average even only 10 percent, it was said at the time. US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that his government is closely watching the storms and is in contact with the affected states./cy/DP/zb