Friday 20 October 2017

Irma: Florida sheriff urges people not to shoot at hurricane, saying 'you won't turn it around'

'It will have devastating consequences'

In this geocolor GOES-16 satellite image taken Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at 18:30 UTC (2:30 p.m. EDT), the eye of Hurricane Irma moves northwest just off the coast of Cuba and south of Florida. The National Hurricane Center says it's looking more likely that the eye of powerful Hurricane Irma will strike the Florida Keys starting Sunday. (NOAA via AP)
In this geocolor GOES-16 satellite image taken Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at 18:30 UTC (2:30 p.m. EDT), the eye of Hurricane Irma moves northwest just off the coast of Cuba and south of Florida. The National Hurricane Center says it's looking more likely that the eye of powerful Hurricane Irma will strike the Florida Keys starting Sunday. (NOAA via AP)

Rachael Revesz

A Florida sheriff has pleaded with citizens not to shoot at Hurricane Irma, saying they “won’t turn it around”.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office warned that shooting weapons at the most dangerous Atlantic hurricane to hit the US since records began “will have very dangerous side effects”.

As many as 53,000 people said they were interested in a Facebook event called “Shoot At Hurricane Irma”, and 25,000 people said they would participate on Saturday evening.

It was set up by 22-year-old Ryon Edwards.

A description of the event read: “YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADA** NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST”.

The Sheriff's office tweeted on Saturday evening: "To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won't make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects."

Read More: Irma: Man decides to ride out hurricane in Florida after airline refuses to let him fly with dog

Mr Edwards told the BBC he created the event out of boredom and stress, and was surprised by the reaction.

“The response is a complete and total surprise to me,” he said.

“I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control.”

Diagram being shared showing people how to shoot the hurricane (screen grab)
Diagram being shared showing people how to shoot the hurricane (screen grab)

Graphics appeared online, suggesting how people could “fire correctly” at the hurricane to ensure the bullets did not come back and kill you.

Several other events quickly appeared on Facebook to combat the storm, including scaring it with flamethrowers, “Spinning your arms really fast to push away Hurricane Irma” and “Destroy Hurricane Irma By Cooling The Atlantic With Ice Cubes”.

Read More: 'One of the most frightening things we could imagine' - Irish newlyweds stranded in Florida as Hurricane Irma closes in

The Category 5 storm ripped through the Caribbean, causing devastation to the islands and killing at least 24 people, before moving west to the US.

Six million people were asked to evacuate the Sunshine State.

Many people said evacuation became difficult or impossible due to the high cost of flights, petrol stations running out of gas and traffic jams.

Independent News Service

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