Americans have been invited to shoot “guns at Hurricane Florence” in a bizarre event designed to scare the storm away.
More than 30,000 people have accepted the invitation to the tongue-in-cheek event, with a further 72,000 interested, according to a public Facebook post.
Hurricane Florence is likely to strengthen to a Category 5 storm as it approaches the US where 1.7 million people have been warned to get out of the way.
States of emergency have been declared in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia in readiness for Florence.
The event, called “Shooting Guns at Hurricane Florence To Scare It Away”, is scheduled from September 11 to 15 in Richmond, Virginia, and is hosted by Ryan Stumpf.
He wrote on Facebook: “Get your guns and your umbrellas. And your umbrella-guns, and your beer, and your beer-guns, and your tiny umbrellas to keep your beer dry, and join people from all along the East Coast in scaring away Hurricane Florence to protect our country from this foreign invader!”
Just in case anyone thought the post and event was a genuine storm deterrent method, he added: “Note: do not actually discharge firearms into the air. You could kill someone and you cannot frighten a hurricane. I can’t believe I actually have to write this.”
But people were taking it in the humour with which it was meant.
Samantha Ramos asked: “Will a water pistol do?”
DiAnne Trivette Jones Fletcher added: “Let’s see… hurricane, drunks with guns… I’ll take my chance with the hurricane. It’s more predictable.”
In 2017, so many people in Florida declared that they wanted to shoot Hurricane Irma the police had to caution against it and explain why.