WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump declared on Thursday a state of emergency in Hawaii given the imminent arrival of Hurricane Lane, which is threatening to develop into the most powerful storm in decades in the archipelago.
The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate their rescue and relief efforts in natural disasters and to funnel federal funds to the areas affected.
The aim of the measure is to save lives and safeguard private property and public health to minimizing or avoiding the threat of a catastrophe on the island, the White house said in a statement.
According to weather experts cited by CNN, the eye of the hurricane could develop into such a powerful storm that, if it makes landfall, it would be the most destructive in the last 26 years.
Recent reports released by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said that the storm is still heading for Hawaii and packing winds of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour, and it may pass directly over most of the islands in the archipelago.
Despite the seriousness of the threat to the state on Friday, the National Weather Service announced on the social networks that the storm, which on Tuesday became a Category 5 hurricane, the maximum level on the Saffir-Simpson scale, has weakened slightly in recent hours.
To reduce potential risks, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday that it was ordering Navy ships to set sail, rather than remain in port, although it ordered them to remain near Hawaii in case they are required to participate in future aid activities.