Hurricane Hector strengthens as it marches across Central Pacific

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Hurricane Hector strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Saturday as it churned toward the Central Pacific.

Hurricane Hector gained in strength overnight as it continues its march westward across the Central Pacific.

Surf: Swells generated by Hector are forecast to reach southeast and east shores of the Big Island and Maui late Tuesday.

"Far northern fringes of the hurricane will brush the Big Island Wednesday", forecasters said in an update.

Still dealing with an erupting Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island, state officials in Hawaii are urging the public to prepare for Hurricane Hector.

The Hawaii Coast Guard has set a port condition of "WHISKEY" due to the impending storm, during which time commercial traffic and transfer operations are allowed to continue.

An estimated 700 homes have been destroyed by the volcano, more than 500 of those in just two days, and thousands of people have been displaced.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 100 miles.

The NHC issued a tropical storm warning Wednesday for Hawaii County, and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency advised residents to prepare an emergency kit that includes at least a 14-day supply of food, water and other necessities.

It was expected to pick up speed from its 14 miles per hour westward crawl into the central Pacific on Monday, the centre said in an advisory late on Sunday.

Scientists differ on how a hurricane could affect the volcano, but some say the low atmospheric pressure could help trigger eruptions.

Hurricane Hector is located about 1,360 miles from South Point, located on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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