Hurricane Lane Deluges Big Island, While Others Brace for Oncoming Storm

Direct Relief has been coordinating with healthcare facilities on the islands to assess needs.



Scenes of flooding are emerging from Hawaii as Hurricane Lane’s outer edges caused a deluge on the Big Island, even as residents in other locations across the island chain are waiting to see what the storm may bring.

The hurricane had weakened to a Category 2 storm Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. But the storm itself is moving slowly at 2 miles per hour, meaning extended rainfall could linger over the island longer, exacerbating flooding.

That could mean anywhere from 10 to 40 inches of rainfall on the islands, and a storm surge of as much as 4 feet is possible. Ahead of the storm’s rains, a set of brush fires broke out on the western side of Maui on Friday, forcing residents of at least 100 homes to evacuate. Maui and Oahu were predicted to experience hurricane conditions late Friday.

Oahu is the major population center of the Hawaiian Islands, home to 954,000 of the state’s 1.4 million people. Officials are urging people who live in flood prone areas to stay in one of the 20 evacuation shelters that have been set up around Oahu. Another six shelters have been set up in Maui and 45 total are currently open across the state.

Direct Relief has been coordinating with healthcare facilities on the islands, and shipped two emergency deliveries of medical aid in the last 72 hours. Both shipments were sent to Lanai Community Health Center in Lanai City. The shipments included respiratory and wound care supplies requested by clinic staff.

Direct Relief is in communication with 13 health centers, free clinics and community organizations on the islands.  Staff have communicated with, and offered assistance to, community health centers in Hilo, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Waimanalo, Waianae and Honolulu.

Coordination is also taking place at the federal, state and local levels, including Hawaii Primary Care Association, the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Emergency Health Kits – each filled with enough medicines and supplies to treat 100 people for three to five days – are ready to be shipped overnight, should they be needed.

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