A cyclist rides along an empty Waikiki Beach as Hurricane Douglas veers northward sparing Oahu from a direct hit, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A cyclist rides along an empty Waikiki Beach as Hurricane Douglas veers northward sparing Oahu from a direct hit, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
PIC: AFP

Hurricane Douglas came within "razor thin" distance of the Hawaiian Islands but spared the state the worst of the strong winds, storm surge and flooding officials had warned about.

Meteorologists cautioned the hurricane's path could shift slightly and Douglas could still unload its destructive power on the islands of Oahu and Kauai.

"It's still not out of the realm of possibilities. So we want people to really remain vigilant and stay prepared, at least for tonight," Eric Lau, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu said Sunday.

Late Sunday, Douglas was 65 miles (105 kilometers) northeast of Honolulu. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph), making it a Category 1 hurricane.

Heavy rain and wind gusts battered Maui during the morning, downing a small tree on the Hana Highway.

Gentle rain fell and blustery winds swayed trees on Oahu, home to the state's biggest city, Honolulu. Sand and debris washed ashore on a two-lane coastal road.

Despite the dangers, surfers rode waves and residents took selfies at a lookout point next to the ocean.

Meanwhile, A downgraded Hanna continued charging across the borderland of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, where flooding remained the biggest threat Monday in a region that was already reeling from a surge in cases of the coronavirus.

Hanna, downgraded to a tropical depression, passed over the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday with winds near 50 mph (85 kph), the National Hurricane Center said. It unloaded more than 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain in some areas, and more was expected.

Border communities whose health care systems were already strained by COVID-19 cases - with some patients being airlifted to larger cities - found themselves grappling with Hanna.

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