Hurricane Iselle gains strength in the Pacific

Hurricane Iselle gains strength in the Pacific
Tropical Storm Bertha is moving towards the northeastern Caribbean. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

MIAMI - Hurricane Iselle, tearing across the Pacific southeast of Hawaii, picked up strength overnight, the US National Hurricane Center said Sunday.

Iselle was located some 2,600km east of Hilo, Hawaii moving west towards the islands at 17kmh, the NHC said in its 0300 GMT (11am Singapore time) bulletin.

"This motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days," the NHC said.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 175kmh, making it a Category Two hurricane on the five scale Saffir-Simpson scale.

The NHC's long-term forecasts has Iselle heading directly towards the Hawaii islands and reaching there Thursday or Friday, though it is unclear how strong it will be at that time.

Iselle "could strengthen a little bit more in the next day or so," the NHC said, "but weakening is forecast to begin by Monday." Currently the Center has issued no coastal watches or warnings.

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