Category 4 hurricane threatens Hawaii

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Honolulu : A Category 4 hurricane is threatening to hit Hawaii this week, just two weeks after Hurricane Hector passed the Central Pacific island chain, according to authorities.

But hurricane Lane looks poised to impact Hawaii much more than Hector did. The forecast puts the storm very close to the islands, with a direct landfall possible later this week, reports CNN.

Hurricane watches have been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties, in the eastern part of the islands.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, according to the National Weather Service's (NWS) Central Pacific Hurricane Centre in Honolulu.

Tuesday at 8 p.m., Lane had maximum winds of 250 km/h and was about 893 km southeast of Honolulu.

The storm was moving westward at 16 km/h and should continue to move west through Tuesday night.

But forecasts indicate Lane will turn in a more northerly direction by Wednesday, which will bring the centre of storm very close to Hawaii and Maui on Thursday, the Hurricane Centre said.

Hurricane Lane poses a "potential threat to life and property", according to the NWS, and "efforts to protect property should now be underway".

More watches and even warnings could be necessary for additional islands as the storm moves closer in the next day or two.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines issued travel advisories to customers flying to or from Hawaii.

Both are waiving reservation change fees as the hurricane approaches.