Trump suggested nuking hurricanes: Report

US President Donald Trump asked if it were possible to disrupt hurricanes by dropping a nuclear bomb in the eye of the storm.
PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump suggested dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes before they made landfall in the United States, Axios reported Sunday (Aug 25).

During a hurricane briefing, Mr Trump asked if it were possible to disrupt hurricanes forming off the coast of Africa by dropping a nuclear bomb in the eye of the storm, Axios wrote.

According to an anonymous source, meeting attendees left the briefing thinking, "What do we do with this?"

Axios did not say when this conversation took place.

It is reportedly not the first time the president made such a suggestion. In 2017, Mr Trump asked a senior official whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to prevent them making landfall.

Axios said that in this conversation Mr Trump did not specify that nuclear bombs be used.

The White House declined to comment, but a senior administration official said Mr Trump's "objective is not bad," said Axios.

Mr Trump's idea is not new, according to Axios. The suggestion was originally made by a government scientist in the 1950s, under President Dwight Eisenhower.

The idea continues to pop up, even though scientists agree it would not work.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a page dedicated to the concept.

"During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms," the NOAA said.

Not only would a bomb not alter a storm, the winds would quickly spread radioactive fallout over nearby land, NOAA added. "Needless to say, this is not a good idea," said NOAA.

The US is regularly pummeled by hurricanes. In 2017 one named Harvey became the strongest hurricane to make landfall in 12 years.

Since then, the East Coast has been hit with a string of catastrophic storms, which have killed thousands of people and cost hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.

Twitter lit up with reactions to Mr Trump’s suggestion, with many users appearing shocked.

"Not ‘The Onion,’" one user wrote, referring to the satirical news publication known for outlandish headlines.

"What could possibly go wrong?" asked another.

Many tweets also included the hashtag #ThatsHowTheApocalypseStarted.

Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris weighed in as well, tweeting, “Dude’s gotta go."

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