Hawaiian Islands closely watching Category 4 Hurricane Hector

Hurricane Hector updated track as of 5 a.m. on Friday Aug. 3 2018. PC NHC  NOAA

Hurricane Hector updated track as of 5 a.m. on Friday Aug. 3 2018. PC NHC NOAA

A powerful hurricane is on course to collide with an erupting volcano on Hawaii's Big Island within days, forecasters have said.

Meterologist James Spann said on Twitter that it was "too soon to determine what kind of impacts might occur in the state, since track errors can be large at long time ranges".

Hector was a Category 3 storm early Sunday as it churned toward the Hawaiian Islands, an archipelago that includes the Big Island.

Swells generated by Hector are expected to reach the southeast and east shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui later Wednesday, and produce large and unsafe surfs. We introduced some elevated precipitation chances over the eastern slopes of the Big Island from Wednesday into Thursday as deep tropical moisture will likely move up the slopes of Maunakea and Maunaloa producing enhanced rainfall activity.

Hector's centre was about 1,210 miles (1,950 kilometres) east-southeast of South Point, Hawaii, and was moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).

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The Center said high surf and rip currents will be the main threat on beaches and some bands of heavier rain would hit the islands.

State officials urged residents to take precaution and prepare for the storm.

CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said it was too early to tell if the hurricane would trigger an eruption of Kilauea.

Hurricane Hector gained in strength overnight as it continues its march westward across the Central Pacific. Kilauea's latest volcanic event began more than three months ago, sending destructive currents of lava into neighborhoods on the island's southeast side.

A tropical storm watch is in effect Monday for waters south of the Big Island. At least 700 homes have been destroyed, authorities estimate, and thousands of people have been displaced.

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