CHICAGO: Millions of people in the US Gulf Coast states of Texas and Louisiana braced for the arrival of Hurricane Harvey as it intensified to category two with winds whipping up to 160 kilometres an hour.

The US National Hur­ricane Center (NHC) warned that Harvey was “rapidly intensifying” and creating a potential for “life-threatening and devastating” floods as it roared toward an area that processes some seven million barrels of oil a day.

The storm’s centre was due to make landfall sometime early on Saturday, with preceding strong winds arriving as early as 8am on Friday.

Harvey was bearing northwest at 16 kilometres per hour as of midnight central time, but the NHC said the category one hurricane could hit land as a much more powerful category three, with winds of 209 kilometres per hour.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2017