Assamese media outlet passes off old, unrelated videos as damage from Storm Daniel in Libya

By: Chandan Borgohain
September 15 2023

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Assamese media outlet passes off old, unrelated videos as damage from Storm Daniel in Libya

Screenshot of the ND24 broadcast which misattributes unrelated visuals as Storm Daniel in Libya (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)


The Verdict False

The video misattributes unrelated visuals to the recent flood in Libya. Reports confirm that they are from different parts of the world.

Claim ID 19f67e6d

On September 10, Storm Daniel unleashed severe flooding in Libya, causing two dams in the city of Derna to collapse and wash away homes and access roads. A report by The Associated Press said that according to an aid group, the death toll in the city had reached 11,300 on September 14. Thousands of people are still reported missing in the city. 

What is the claim?

In the aftermath of the event, Assamese media outlet ND24 published a video report on its Facebook page, purportedly showing several visuals of the disaster in the North African nation. The post gained over 1,47, 000 views at the time of publishing. An archived version of the post can be seen here.

Screenshot of the Assamese media report. (Source: ND24/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

What did we find?

A closer inspection of the video report revealed that several of the clips included are old and unrelated to Libya's recent catastrophe. We performed reverse image searches on keyframes of the video and found that at least six clips are actually from other countries.

1. Video of a tornado

The report misattributed a digitally altered video to Storm Daniel in Libya. At the 0:44 timestamp of the report, a 12-second-long clip shows a huge tornado swirling behind a building and lightning striking occasionally.

A reverse image search on this clip led us to the same video shared on TikTok by one Rostyslav Tsarov (@rtsarovvideo). The clip was shared on September 4, and its caption read, "Tornado Damage in Coastal Town." Our search also elicited the original version of the video, available on the stock footage website Shutterstock. The original Shutterstock video does not feature the tornado or lightning, suggesting that the two elements have been digitally added. Further investigation into the source of the Shutterstock video showed that it dates back to October 7, 2016, and shows the South Beach Plaza Mall in Jacksonville, Florida. Logically Facts debunked a false claim made using this footage here.

Comparison of the viral video with the CGI video and the original video. (Source: Facebook(L),YouTube(C),Shutterstock(R))

2. Video of clouds descending 

At the 0:56 timestamp of the ND24 video, an 11-second clip shows visuals of a stormy sky with clouds descending. We conducted a reverse image search on the keyframe and came across a report published by The Weather Channel on August 7, 2020. The report carried the same clip. According to the report titled "Time-Lapse Shows Wrath of Severe Storm in Australia," the event occurred in Perth, Australia. 

The Weather Channel clip carried the text "Kane Artie/Severe Weather Australia Perth, Australia February 25, 2020" near the top right corner. Taking this as a cue, we found the original 29-second-long video posted on the Facebook page 'Kane Artie Photography' on February 25, 2020. The caption claims that the video was shot at the viewing area at Perth Airport. The video was also posted on Kane Artie's Instagram account on February 26, 2020. According to their Instagram profile, Artie is an Australian photographer with a special interest in landscape, timelapse, and drone photography.

Comparison of the viral video and the original Facebook video. (Source: ND24(L),Kane Artie Photography(R)/Facebook)

3. Video of flood water moving downhill

At the 1.07 mark of the ND24 video, we noticed a 14-second clip of flood water gushing downhill and hitting a low bridge. We performed a reverse image on keyframes of this clip and found that an earlier version of the video was uploaded to Facebook by the Arabic-language news outlet Daralakhbar on April 8, 2016. The video was captioned: "A torrent from Wadi Al-Farsha in Tihama Qahtan blocks the road for cars and pedestrians.” Therefore, the video is not related to the recent flooding in Libya and was recorded in Saudi Arabia in 2016. Logically Facts has previously fact-checked this video here.

Comparison of the viral video and the original video. (Source: ND24(L),Daralakhbar(R)/Facebook)

4. Video of cars stranded on an inundated street

An 11-second clip beginning around the 1:22 mark of the ND24 video shows vehicles being washed away by raging floodwater. The footage shows people clinging to their car roofs as muddy water gushes and sweeps away several vehicles. A reverse image search on a keyframe of this clip led us to a YouTube short titled "Woman stranded on car roof in Spanish floodwaters." It was uploaded on the video streaming platform by 9 News Australia on July 10. According to the description, the video was from the Spanish city of Zaragoza. Towards the end of the video, we can see a young woman seated on the roof of her car.

Comparison of the viral video and the original video. (Source: Facebook(L),YouTube(R))

We then came across a report by Spanish outlet ABC Aragon. Published on July 7, the report carried footage of the same incident. According to the report, the incident captured in the video and the ND24 report took place on July 6. The young woman seen stranded on her car roof was identified as Maria L, a resident of Monreal del Campo in Spain. Here, we were also able to spot the same woman— wearing a white t-shirt and carrying a black backpack— struggling to get out of a black car, as seen in the ND24 report and the YouTube short.

5. Videos of parked vehicles on an inundated street

The ND24 video report shows a short clip of several parked vehicles stranded on an inundated road around the 1:26 mark. On conducting a reverse image search, we found a photo essay published in Deccan Herald on July 11. The photo essay was titled "In Pics | Himachal Pradesh suffers loss of life, infrastructure in torrential rains." An image matching the visuals in the clip has been included in this photo essay and was captioned, "Vehicles being swept away during flash floods amid heavy monsoon rainfall at Parwanoo, in Solan." The photo was credited to news agency Press Trust of India.

Comparison of the viral video and the original image. (Source: Facebook(L), Deccan Herald(R))

Around the 2:18 mark, the video report shows a clip recorded from a balcony of floodwater sweeping away vehicles stranded on a road. The same clip was shared as part of a video report on the floods that hit India's Himachal Pradesh in July. The video published by ABP News was titled "Weather Updates: Parked cars gets washed away with floods in Parwanoo, Solan." We also found a longer version of the same clip on YouTube, uploaded by a user on July 10. While Logically Facts could not independently confirm the origin of the video, in the YouTube clip, we can hear people conversing in Hindi, indicating that it was not filmed in Libya.

Comparison of the viral video and the original video. (Source: Facebook(L),ABP News(R))

6. Video of a mudslide

Near the 3:01 timestamp of the ND24 video, a five-second clip of a massive landslide sweeping away vehicles and buildings can be seen. However, we have found that this clip is from July 2021 and has nothing to do with the recent floods in Libya. Logically Facts performed a reverse image search and found multiple credible reports confirming that the video is actually from Japan's Atami City, which experienced a mudslide in July 2021. You can read our fact-check here.

Comparison of the viral video and the original video. (Source: Facebook(L),Twitter(R))

The verdict

The video report falsely attributes several old and unrelated visuals to the recent flood in Libya. Therefore, this claim has been marked as false.

(Update: The story has been updated to reflect that the original version of the video showing the tornado is from October 2016 and shows the South Beach Plaza Mall in Jacksonville, Florida.)

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