Weather experts have put the Azores on red alert today as forecasts suggest gusts in already high winds could exceed 150 km per hour.
At least seven flights in and out of the central group of islands have been suspended due to worsening weather conditions.
But now IPMA, the Portuguese sea and atmosphere institute, has upgraded warnings to red which signifies “extreme weather conditions” until at least midnight tonight.
Waves are expected to reach seven metres along the south coast, adds the institute, while rain continues to beat down over the archipelago.
So far, the red alert covers the islands of São Jorge, Faial, Graciosa, Pico and Terceira, while the western islands of Santa Maria and São Miguel are also under red alert for waves, which they have been warned could reach as much as 15 metres.
Islanders have been on a form of lockdown since Sunday, with schools and crèches all closed, reports SIC television news.