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Hurricane Lorenzo will be ‘vigorous cyclone’ by the time it reaches Ireland after batterin | Weather | News

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Trees and power lines were knocked to the ground as the monster swept across the group of nine islands 850 miles west of mainland Portugal on Wednesday with heavy rains, gusts of wind and high waves. The main port of one of the islands suffered significant damage as the storm powered across the Atlantic Ocean as a Category 2 hurricane. Azores Civil Protection Agency chief Carlos Neves said 39 people were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.

But he said the main port on the island of Flores had suffered “grave damage” and the dock, the port’s building and some cargo containers had been “swallowed” by the sea.

Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa said he had spoken to Azores officials at dawn and thankfully the hurricane risk had peaked without major incident.

He told reporters in Lisbon: “Fortunately, everything indicates that things have not turned out as badly as we feared.”

Extra doctors had been dispatched to islands expected to be the hardest hit and business owners had installed barriers to protect their shops.

On Tuesday people were seen securing their boats in harbours and sandbags were being stacked outside homes.

All non-emergency public services has been ordered to close including schools, transport and some tourist attractions.

READ MORE:Hurricane Lorenzo: What time will Hurricane hit the UK?

The Portuguese archipelago made up of volcanic islands is home to around 250,000 people.

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Seven islands had been placed on “red alert” by authorities and people were told to remain indoors on Wednesday.

Azores airline SATA which runs daily flight between the island and Portugal’s capital Lisbon cancelled all journeys while some islands closed their ports.

The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, said swells generated by Lorenzo were being felt along the eastern coasts of the US and Canada, in the Bahamas, and in parts of western Europe.

Experts at the centre predicted Lorenzo would have weakened to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it arrives in Ireland late on Thursday.

The centre said Lorenzo is “likely be a fairly vigorous cyclone” when it makes landfall.

The UK Met Office forecast “very strong winds and heavy rain” for western parts of the island on Thursday and Friday.

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