NASA spots Hurricane Lane devouring the view from space

International Space Station satellite releases stunning images of Hurricane Lane

Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm in the central Pacific Ocean with 150 miles per hour (241 km/h) winds, is now lashing Hawaii with rain and tropical-storm-force winds from its outer bands as it approaches the state, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

AccuWeather reports that Lane has the potential to be the single-costliest hurricane in recorded history of Hawaii and may end up causing the most expensive hurricane damage in all of the country for the 2018 hurricane season.

The centre of the Category 4 storm was predicted to move close to or over portions of the main islands later Thursday or Friday, bringing risky surf of 20 feet and a storm surge of up to 4 feet, forecasters said.

The storm is less than 300 miles south of Kailua-Kona in Hawaii, coming towards the Pacific islands from the southeast.

The hurricane's outer rain bands have lashed eastern parts of the island with three inches of rain falling in three hours.

Though the path isn't certain, Hawaii is expecting torrential rain the next few days, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods and landslides. All public schools have been canceled until further notice, and many state employees have been asked to stay home.

Damaging tropical storm-force winds could arrive on the Big Island early Thursday, with unsafe hurricane force expected in some areas later.

There are fears the extreme weather will trigger deadly flooding and landslides as the storm bears down on the islands.

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Officials opened shelters on the Big Island and the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai on Wednesday.

Oahu and Kauai County - including Kauai and Niihau islands - have a hurricane watch in place. And not all of the shelters that it does have are fit to protect people.

Trump issued the declaration on Wednesday.

Davelle Finau of Oahu says she's not too concerned about the storm. "We are grateful to the President and FEMA for the swift approval of our request as our state braces for the severe weather ahead", the governor said.

The U.S. Navy is moving most of its fleet out of Pearl Harbor as Hurricane Lane continues its approach to Hawaii.

Widespread rainfalls of 10 to 15 inches are possible, with more than 20 inches possible in some spots. The ships will remain at sea until the storm threat passes.

"The combination of a unsafe storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along south and west facing shores near the center of Lane", the hurricane center said.

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