Hurricane Florence just 80 kilometers away from US coast

Hurricane Florence just 80 kilometers away from US coast 

Police officers talk with residents at Garden Beach, South Carolina, USA, Sep. 13, 2018. EPA-EFE/CRISTOBAL HERRERA

Washington DC, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Category 2 hurricane Florence on Thursday kept advancing towards the United States and was situated just 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from the coastline, packing sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour.

In its latest bulletin, issued at 11 pm, the National Hurricane Center of the US informed that the eye of Florence was situated 80 kilometers south of Morehead City and 95 kilometers east-southeast of Wilmington, a city of more than 100,000 people.

The storm was progressing in a northeasterly direction at a speed of 9 kph with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph.

Florence, which initially registered winds of up to 220 kph, has lost two categories in intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale in the last 48 hours, weakening to Category 2 from the initial 4, out of a maximum scale of 5.

Despite its weakening, the NHC warned the hurricane winds and the accompanying rainstorm could pose a «life-threatening» risk to people.

According to the NHC forecast, Florence is expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours, and will pass through the Carolinas during the weekend before weakening and heading north towards the Appalachian Mountains at the beginning of next week.