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Trump suggested nuking hurricanes to stop landfall, report claims

US President Donald Trump at a Hurricane Florence briefing in 2018. Source: AAP

New reports claim US President Donald Trump asked security officials more than once about why the military could not bomb hurricanes in order to stop them making landfall.

US President Donald Trump suggested dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes before they made landfall, according to unnamed government sources in the US.

During a hurricane briefing, Trump reportedly 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, US news website Axios wrote on Sunday.

He reportedly said "I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" according to one source who was there.

It's understood meeting attendees left the briefing thinking, "What do we do with this?"

In this May 21, 1956, file photo, the fireball of a hydrogen bomb lights up the sky over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
In this May 21, 1956, file photo, the fireball of a hydrogen bomb lights up the sky over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
AAP

Axios did not say when this conversation took place.

It is not the first time the president reportedly made such a suggestion.

In 2017, Trump asked a senior official whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to prevent them from making landfall.

He did not specify in this conversation that nuclear bombs be used.

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

Trump's idea is not new. The suggestion was originally made by a government scientist in the 1950s, under President Dwight Eisenhower.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 has a page dedicated to the concept.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says nuking a hurricane "is not a good idea".
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says nuking a hurricane "is not a good idea".
NOAA

"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.

Twitter lit up with reactions to 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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