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Emergency

Emergency shelters have opened, mobile alerts have been received and the rain is pouring. 

Hawaiians are now bracing themselves for landfall of one of the worst hurricanes to hit the Islands since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

The path of the hurricane is forecasted to pass very close to the north-west of the islands today and tomorrow. 

As Hurricane Lane draws closer, emergency shelters on Wednesday opened their doors on the Big Island and on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. 

In fear of the roads becoming impassable on the south coast of Molokai, officials warned residents who require shelter to get there sooner rather than later.

Shelters were made available today on the island of Oahu, as the island received a weather warning late yesterday. 

The Mayor of the Island, Kirk Caldwell, issued a warning this morning for Islanders to brace themselves for the impending weather event.

"O'ahu us now under a Hurricane Warning, meaning that we are now less than 36 hours from potential hurricane weather conditions. Please ensure that you and your family are prepared," he said.   

Currently, Hurricane Lane is ranked as a category four storm out of five on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

It means the storm has the potential to bring winds of 130 to 156mph.

Officials have said that the storm could be downgraded to a category three by Thursday afternoon.

However, that is still a major weather event and could bring winds of 111-129 mph causing devastating damage. 

The impact of the approaching hurricane is already being felt on the Big Island.

Flash floods warnings are in place.

Over the last 12 hours, it has been reported that 8" of rain has fallen on the Big Island.

The slow movement of the storms increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall, said NWSHonolulu.

Governor David Ige issued a warning to residents this morning, saying:

"Due to potential hazards & emergency vehicle operations, travel in coastal areas & ocean recreation should be avoided. Large breaking surf, significant shorebreak, & dangerous currents make entering the water extremely hazardous and could face significant injury or death."

Hawaii doesn't usually get hit with central Pacific storms as bad as Hurricane Lane.

The last major hurricane was Iniki in 1992 which claimed the lives of six people and injured more than 100.

The 1992 storm caused an estimated $3 billion in damage.  

Public schools will remain closed for the rest of the week.

Local government workers are urged to remain home unless they are essential employees.

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According to emerging reports, an Aer Lingus flight bound for Dublin had to be diverted due to a mid-air emergency earlier this morning.

Flight EI603 which left Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at around 9am today was diverted to Manchester Airport at approximately 09.40.

It is understood that a passenger required medical attention which they received when the aircraft touched down in the British city.

According to The Independent,  the diverted flight will depart for Dublin later this morning.
 

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