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Hurricane Laura, declared a category-4 storm, has reached the shores of Louisiana. With winds of up to 150mph, the National Weather Service has urged nearby residents to seek shelter immediately.

The storm made landfall early on Thursday, bringing torrential rain and violent winds to coastline communities. Videos show huge gusts pushing against trees and sending debris flying through the air. 

12:45 am. In a distinct moat. It’s a final reprieve before the inner ring of violent winds gets here. I better get inside and hunker down. #Hurricane#LAURA in Sulphur #Louisianapic.twitter.com/aZrzKIOF64

Did anyone just catch this on the weather channel? Whoaa. #HurricaneLaura#HurricanLaura#laurapic.twitter.com/iKGmp4C72Q

Residents have been ordered to find a safe place to sit out the storm. 

“TAKE COVER NOW! Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching. Move immediately to a safe room in your shelter. Take action now to protect your life!” The National Weather Service tweeted. 

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported 150mph winds and warned of “potentially catastrophic impacts” on the region.

In one video, huge balls of light, believed to be explosions, can be seen in the distance as powerful, whistling winds bend nearby trees. Another eyewitness shared a video of the terrifying gusts while taking shelter under a porch awning. 

1:23 am. Whistling. Explosions. #Hurricane#LAURA in Sulphur #Louisianapic.twitter.com/7kU3DZjhyn

EXTREME winds in the eyewall of #Laura here in Lake Charles WELL in excess of 100 mph. #lawxpic.twitter.com/og06tSSje9

The NHC warned in an earlier message that the storm would create “unsurvivable” conditions along the coast of Texas and Louisiana, and predicted that the hurricane could reach 30 miles (48km) inland.

🌪This is what an ‘unsurvivable surge’ looks like: 😲 #Laura#HurricaneLaura#hurricanepic.twitter.com/epUUohzBh8

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