Category 4 hurricane Florence maintains strength east of North Carolina: NHC

(Reuters) - Florence, a Category 4 hurricane, has maintained its strength over the past several hours but is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory on Monday.

Florence is about 1,085 miles (1,745 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (220 km per hour), it said.

The storm is moving west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph), the NHC said.

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday, the NHC added.

Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger