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Hurricane Flossie Downgraded, But Still Poses Threat to Hawaii


The U.S. National Weather Service has downgraded Hurricane Flossie again, from a category 3 to category 2 storm, but says it is still headed near the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Earlier Tuesday, Hawaiian officials declared a state of emergency as the hurricane approached the southern waters of the Pacific island state. The storm had earlier reached category four strength.

Forecasters say Flossie could pass about 121 kilometers from the big island of Hawaii, the southernmost land mass in the Hawaiian islands chain. Schools have been ordered closed Tuesday, on the island.

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale hit the island of Hawaii Tuesday. But there were no reports of injuries or major damage.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Dean has formed in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Weather officials say Dean could strengthen into a hurricane by Friday.

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