14/10/2010 | by Alex Dick-Read
A state of emergency has been declared in Hawaii’s Big Island as residents prepare for Hurricane Flossie which is due to bring high winds and heavy rain.
All 56 public schools, as well as private schools, have been closed and the authorities have told islanders to stock up on food and water supplies.
Forecasters expect the storm to be just 100 miles (160km) from the islands and the eye of the hurricane could pass relatively close to Big Island later on Tuesday.
On Monday, an earthquake hit Big Island although there was little damage and no reported injuries.
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has signed an emergency proclamation activating the National Guard.
It is thought that the Category Three storm will bring gusts of 110mph (177km per hour) and cause up to 15 inches of rain to fall. There are also fears of flash flooding.
The Big Island has a population of 150,000 people who live mainly away from the south which is expected to be hardest hit by the hurricane. Other islands are expected to get less wind and rain.
The last time Hawaii was visited by a hurricane was in 1992 when the island of Kauai was struck. Six people died and $2.5bn (£1.25bn) worth of damage was caused.