Residents board up a door in preparation for the arrival of hurricane Lorenzo in Horta, the capital of the Portuguese island of Faial, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. The Category 2 hurricane is expected to hit the Atlantic Ocean Portuguese archipelago of the Azores Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Lorenzo was previously a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest storm ever observed so far north and east in the Atlantic basin. (AP Photo/Joao Henriques)

Category 2 hurricane batters mid-Atlantic Azores Islands

October 02, 2019 - 12:04 am

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Hurricane Lorenzo is lashing the mid-Atlantic Azores Islands with heavy rain, powerful winds and high waves.

The Category 2 hurricane passed the Portuguese island chain Wednesday.

The Azores Civil Protection Agency says the two westernmost islands suffered minor damage, including fallen trees and power lines, but says no injuries have been reported.

Civil Protection Agency chief Carlos Neves says two homes were safely evacuated.

Around 250,000 people live on the nine volcanic islands.

The Portuguese weather agency reports gusts of up to 145 kph (90 mph) — lower than forecast as Lorenzo loses power over cooler water.

Powerful hurricanes are rare so far north and east in the Atlantic basin. Lorenzo is producing huge swells across the North Atlantic as it moves northeast toward Ireland the United Kingdom.