Fake Irma forecast goes viral, causing panic
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
As Texans continue to deal with the wrath of Harvey, something else is causing worry. A fake Facebook post went viral this week, getting nearly forty thousand shares.
That post said Hurricane Irma was going to move through Mexico and hit everything in between, up to Houston, Texas.
The National Weather Service said the post was completely false and it was too early to predict what Irma would do.
Not only was the post false, it also had the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seal on it.
“It was a little bit odd to see that. It didn’t match what the National Hurricane Center puts out,” said James Auten, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Lincoln.
The NOAA did not post the forecast.
The National Weather Service said NOAA forecasts only go five days out, whereas the fake forecast went on for two weeks.
"That kind of post can bring in a lot of hysteria and panic, especially for people who live in the Houston area," said Auten.
Many people said they can't believe a Facebook post would target those suffering from Harvey.
"They're trying to recover and this unnecessary worry piled on top of worry already for what they're trying to accomplish and clean up," said Allen wright, a social media user.
The National Weather Service said this incident shows how easy fake information can spread like wildfire. They said even if a post seems to be coming from a credible source it's vital you always double check the facts.
This can be done by going to the website where the information is coming from. In this case, the National Hurricane Center.