Hurricane Ian: TikTokers livestream devastation as category 4 storm makes landfall in Florida

TikTok livestreams are giving millions of viewers a real-time glimpse of the power and fury of Hurricane Ian as it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon.

Dozens of accounts aired footage on the social media platform’s livestream feature of pounding waves, levelled buildings, and storm surge as 150mph winds from the Category 4 hurricane swept through the Sunshine State.

Some of the TikTokers are defying orders to remain indoors or evacuate from parts of southwest Florida that were expected to bear the brunt of the hurricane’s devastation.

Jason Diver, who runs a fishing charter business out of Naples, posted a clip of residents in the water as waves slammed into the city’s pier.

“RIP Naples pier,” Mr Diver wrote.

“RIP the white street pier sailboat,” wrote another user “EmHaleyy” on a TikTok showing a destroyed boat on Key West.

A storm chaser who posts under the name “World’s Greatest Roofer” shared footage from Port Charlotte Beach showing how the hurricane had dragged the ocean currents out to sea.

“The water is all the way out... that’s the beach, there’s usually water,” he said.

Commenters urged the TikToker to escape to higher ground, with one posting: “The water is definitely coming back but with an unimaginable force.”

A TikTok posted from Tampa that showed eerie pink skies the night before the hurricane reached land on Tuesday had attracted 4.5 million views.

Speaking to NBC News, Fort Myers golf instructor Brad Stecklein said he had been posting under his account “golfpantsman” to give viewers an “accurate portrayal” of the situation on the ground.

He said storm warnings had been wildly “overhyped” in the 20 years that he had been living in Florida, creating a false sense of complacency.

“This one is going to redefine how people act,” Mr Stecklein said.

Will Batten posted several clips of the storm arriving in Key West, followed by the aftermath showing damaged buildings, and widespread flooding.

“Ian got us good,” he wrote.