News / USA

    Hurricane, Tropical Storm Roll Toward Hawaii

    This image provided by NOAA Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right. This image provided by NOAA Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right.
    x
    This image provided by NOAA Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right.
    This image provided by NOAA Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right.
    Reuters

    A hurricane and a tropical storm on Wednesday were heading west across the Pacific Ocean toward the tourist haven of Hawaii, where officials announced school closures and warned visitors and residents to prepare.

    Sea surges and flooding were forecast.

    Hurricane Iselle was about 860 miles (1,384 km) east of Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii, moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (21 km per hour) with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (161 kph), the National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday.

    Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu, Aug. 5, 2014.Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu, Aug. 5, 2014.
    x
    Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu, Aug. 5, 2014.
    Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu, Aug. 5, 2014.

    Residents were stocking up on basics as authorities in Honolulu advised them to prepare a seven-day disaster supply kit. The hurricane was forecast to weaken over the next 48 hours, the NHC center said.

    Further east over the Pacific, Tropical Storm Julio was about 1,290 miles (2,076 km) from Baja California in Mexico and also expected to continue moving west-northwest through Thursday, the NHC said on Wednesday.

    That storm was moving at 15 mph (24 kph) and has maximum sustained wind speeds of 65 mph (100 kph), it said.

    Shoppers in Honolulu waited in line at supermarkets with carts full of bottled water, batteries and nonperishable food items.

    “With Hawaii's remoteness, it could be as long as a week before a full disaster relief operation can be initiated,” the department said in a statement late on Monday.

    Honolulu school teacher Gina Nakahodo said she had felt calm about the situation, until she reached the empty water aisle of her local grocery store early on Tuesday.

    “We've had so many storms that have passed us by, but with these two back to back you begin to worry. Then all of the sudden the aisles are empty and there's no water and it makes your heart pound a little,” Nakahodo said.

    She said she talked to a couple visiting from California, and told them everything was going to be OK. “But in the back of my mind I'm wondering, 'what's going to happen?',” she said.

    The Coast Guard warned people to prepare for the onset of heavy weather by Thursday, with the hurricane and tropical storm expected to generate extreme sea conditions, storm surge and surf of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) throughout the island chain.

    The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch from early Thursday to early Saturday, with Hurricane Iselle expected to bring heavy rains to the islands.

    Public schools would be closed on Thursday on the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island, the Hawaii State Department of Education said.

    Hurricanes rarely hit Hawaii. The state was washed over by Hurricane Flossie in 2007, which caused 20-foot (6-meter) waves but very little damage. Hurricane Neki did minor damage to a marine national monument northwest of the islands in 2009.

    In 1992, Hurricane Iniki pummeled the island of Kauai, killing six people and causing estimated damages of $2.4 billion. Before that, the last recorded hurricane to hit Hawaii was the Kohala Cyclone in 1871.

    Separately on Tuesday, the NHC said Bertha, the second hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season, had weakened to a tropical storm some 475 miles (765 km) west of Bermuda.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora