Obama warns that Hurricane Irene could be "historic"
US President Barack Obama called upon residents of the country's densely-populated East Coast to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, saying it could well be "historic.", DPA reported.
"I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, take precautions now," Obama said Friday from his holiday home in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
"All indications point to this being a historic hurricane."
On Friday, the storm was located 530 kilometres south-west of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and it was moving north at 22 kilometres per hour.
With sustained winds of up to 165 kilometres per hour and higher gusts, it was a category-two hurricane in the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the Miami-based US National Hurricane Centre (NHC).
"On the forecast track, the core of the hurricane will pass well off the coast of Georgia today, approach the coast of North Carolina tonight and pass near or over the North Carolina coast Saturday. The hurricane is forecast to move near or over the Mid-Atlantic coast Saturday night," the NHC said Friday.