The National Hurricane Center (NHC) based in Miami, Florida, expects the eye of Lorenzo to pass near the western Azores in the early hours of Wednesday morning and authorities have ordered the closure of all non-essential public services. Having weakened since its peak last weekend, Lorenzo is set to hit the cluster of nine volcanic islands as a Category 1 hurricane, according to Portugal's meteorological agency IMPA.
On Tuesday people in coastal regions secured their boats to piers and shop owners were seen reinforcing doors against flooding in preparation for the onslaught.
The president of the Azores' civil protection authority, Carlos Neves, said the military would be on “red alert” until 4pm on Wednesday (5pm British time), meaning they will have to be ready to spring into action if needed.
Mr Neves said: "This hurricane will hit us with some gravity, especially the western islands. It will be a long night but we are ready."
Hurricane Lorenzo is set for landfall in the Azores in the early hours of Wednesday (Image: Alistair Grant/Getty)
Workmen erect a board to protect a business against potential flooding (Image: REUTERS)
Additional doctors have been sent to islands which are expected to be hardest hit and a weather warning is in place for eight of the nine islands.
The NHC said the hurricane is likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions on the islands 850 miles west of Portugal, with only a slow weakening forecast over the next two days.
They said: “On the forecast track, the centre of Lorenzo is expected to pass near the western Azores early Wednesday. Only slow weakening is expected during the next 48 hours."
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The president of the Azores has ordered a shutdown on non-essential public services (Image: REUTERS)