Hector vs. Kilauea: Hurricane on track to skirt past Hawaii's erupting volcano

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

Lava fragments falling from lava fountains at fissure 8 are building a cinder-and-spatter cone around the erupting vent, with the bulk of the fragments falling on the downwind side of the cone as it continues to feed a channelized lava flow that reaches the ocean at Kapoho during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S. June 11, 2018. Now the area faces a new threat as Hurricane Hector heads in that direction.

Hurricane Hector roared through the Central Pacific on Sunday and is expected to pass near the Big Island of Hawaii, where a volcano continues to send lava into the sea.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 miles per hour with higher gusts, with Hector maintaining a strong Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

"Slow weakening is forecast during the next few days. However, Hector is expected to still be a major hurricane when it moves into the central Pacific basin", the National Hurricane Center said.

"There is the potential for Hector to bring some impacts to portions of the Hawaiian Islands by the middle of next week, but it is too soon to specify the magnitude of the impacts or where they could occur", the National Hurricane Center said, in its latest forecast.

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Hector is about 1360 miles (2190 kilometers) east of South Point, Hawaii, and is forecast to cross into the central Pacific by Sunday night or early Monday.

"Interests in the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Hector", the NHC said. On Friday, state officials warned residents and visitors to take precautions in case Hector gets closer to the island chain.

The Hawaiian Islands include Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii, which is often referred to as the Big Island.

Lava spewed from Kilauea since May 3 has covered 13.4 square miles (34.7 sq km) of the island's surface, destroying more than 700 homes and displacing thousands of residents.

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