Hurricane Lorenzo hit the Azores in the early hours of this (Wednesday) morning, mercifully sparing the islands of Flores and Corvo from ‘worst case scenario’ predictions.
Nonetheless, wind gusts were logged at well over 200 km/ hour, with powerful waves pounding the islands, breeching sea walls and causing widespread damage.
Over 39 people, “most of them on the island of Faial” were forced out of their homes as conditions worsened, while another 100 were evacuated as a matter of precaution.
Prime minister António Costa said “things went better than we feared” though reports of damages are expected to keep coming in over the course of today.
In total, Civil Protection logged 127 incidents, many of them to do with obstructions of roads.
Video clips and commentary were widely shared over social media, with islanders communicating with each other until internet connections went down at various points of the night and early morning.
The Category 1 (lowest on scale of 1-5) hurricane is now bowling on towards the UK where it is expected to hit western parts of UK and western Ireland on Thursday.
This tropical storm has been a ‘record breaker’, say international sources.
The New York Times explains its “path and size remain unique. The storm is very broad, with tropical-force winds covering a span of around 500 miles”.
But the good news is that its strength and potential for damage is ‘dropping all the time’.
Say forecasters in Ireland, Lorenzo is expected to bring high seas, severe winds and heavy rains on Thursday evening/ night and Friday morning – at which point it should start clearing ‘gradually’.