Hurricane Lorenzo lashes Azores Islands as it heads towards Ireland and UK

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Hurricane Lorenzo lashed the mid-Atlantic Azores Islands with heavy rain, powerful winds and high waves, though initial reports said it caused only minor damage.

The Azores Civil Protection Agency said the category two hurricane felled trees and power lines as it passed just west of the Portuguese island chain.

Hurricanes the size of Lorenzo are rare so far north and east in the Atlantic basin.

Portugal Hurricane Lorenzo
Residents board up a door in preparation for the arrival of Lorenzo (Joao Henriques/AP)

Lorenzo is producing huge swells across the North Atlantic as it moves north east toward Ireland and the United Kingdom and weakens to category one.

Azores Civil Protection Agency chief Carlos Neves says two homes were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.

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

The Portuguese weather agency reported gusts of up to 90mph, lower than forecast as Lorenzo lost power over cooler water.

Authorities in the archipelago placed seven islands on red alert as Lorenzo approached.

School classes were cancelled and government offices were closed as people were told to remain indoors Wednesday.

Azores airline Sata cancelled all flights to the archipelago, and some islands closed their ports.

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