The outer bands of Hurricane Lane have reached the Big Island of Hawaii and the downpour of rain continues to inundate the area, with an initial report of nearly 20 inches and an expectation that this could significantly increase in the days ahead. Though it has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm, it is very wide and moving slowly which will lead to lengthy periods of strong rain and damaging winds. It is also anticipated to trigger a dangerously high storm surge which could lead to even more flooding, landslides and mudslides.

There are many risks for the people in this area due to hazardous road conditions, fallen trees, downed power lines and other debris. The path of the hurricane is expected to move towards the island of Oahu where the residents of Honolulu are preparing for high winds and rain. While other cities in the United States would require an evacuation for a hurricane of this magnitude, this is not possible in Hawaii as the residents literally have nowhere to go but stay in their homes on their respective islands. The authorities are advising people to have enough food and water for two weeks due to the intensity of the storm and the possible lack of resources once its full impact reaches the area. This is considered to be possibly the biggest weather threat to Hawaii in decades.

Rev. Father Alexander Leong, Proistamenos of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii has been in contact with His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos to apprise him of updates on this situation. Father Leong also serves the Greek Orthodox Mission in Maui and he is monitoring the hurricane as it travels through what is referred to as the Hawaiian Island Chain.

“I cannot emphasize enough the need for prayer at such a challenging time for the people of Hawaii. The volume of rainfall, the destructive winds, and the damage to property and the beautiful natural surroundings of this area are unfathomable,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “We pray that God will stretch forth His Mighty Hand to calm this storm and restore peace to the land.”

Additional updates on the effect of Hurricane Lane will be provided as more information becomes available.