The web site of Family Radio, which has predicted that the "Rapture" of Christian believers will take place at 6 p.m. today, is currently unreachable for many Internet users. It's not immediately clear whether the FamilyRadio.com site is overwhelmed by traffic or experiencing technical difficulties. UPDATE: As of noon Eastern time, the FamilyRadio.com site appears to be responding again, albeit slowly.
The web site's performance problems came as time zones in New Zealand reached 6 p.m., the hour at which radio evangelist Harold Camping predicted that believers would leave the earth. Interest in Camping's prediction of a May 21 event has grown throughout the week, spurred by media coverage and widespread discussion on social networks like Facebook, Reddit and Slashdot.
"On May 21, 2011 two events will occur," the group predicts. "A great earthquake (that) will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God."
One explanation for the performance problems might be heavy traffic from visitors seeking reaction from Camping and Family Radio as the day progresses with no sign of millions of people being uploaded to the clouds.