Sharknado: Hurricane Ian storm surge sweeping shark into the streets

Photo: Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

While social media hoaxes regarding sharks swimming into residential areas during natural disasters have become a staple of the internet, the category 4 Hurricane Ian seems to have brought it to reality.

Tornadoes have spun off from Hurricane Ian as it ploughed into Florida's Gulf Coast, with catastrophic force leaving power cut off and forcing residents into a curfew. More than 2.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate the category four hurricane.

A video on Twitter documenting the storm quickly went viral. It appears to show a shark writhing around on a flooded city street in Fort Myers, Florida. Some shed doubt on the claim, saying the creature looks more like a tarpon, another large fish.

The immediate response to the clip, as it quickly circulated on Twitter, was a slew of references to the campy made-for-TV flick “Sharknado” which features a massive storm that sucks sharks up into a waterspout and proceeds to drop them into populated areas.

The hurricane sparked its own weather patterns, with five tornado warnings issued and people told to stay indoors.

Collier County emergency management director Dan Summers said Florida is "not out of the woods yet", she speculated that the category four storm could escalate to a category five.