No, video does not show people swept away by a waterfall in Gujarat

By: Prabhanu Das
July 10 2024

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No, video does not show people swept away by a waterfall in Gujarat

Screenshots of X and Facebook posts sharing a video of a river sweeping people away claiming that it is from Gujarat. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict False

The video is from October 2023 and shows an incident in the Hollin river in Ecuador.

Claim ID 81931890

What’s the claim?

Several users on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook have shared a video claiming to show tourists being swept away by a river in Gujarat. The three-and-a-half-minute video attached to the posts shows tourists walking down towards a waterfall, panicking when the water level and speed of the river increase, and trying to get back towards high ground. Meanwhile, some people are swept away while others try to grab and save them. 

The captions with the video liken it to the Lonavala tragedy, where a woman and four children were swept away near the Bhushi dam in Lonavala, and claim that this video shows a similar incident in Gujarat. Archived links to the posts can be found here, here, and here.   

These posts on Facebook claim to share a video of a river sweeping people away in Gujarat, India. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, our research revealed that this video is not from Gujarat but from a disaster in the Hollin River in the Napo province of Ecuador on 13 October 2023.

What we found

We noted that the language being spoken in the background of the video was Spanish.

Further, a reverse image search led us to a longer version of the video, which was published on Facebook (archived here) on October 22, 2023, by Peru-based Spanish-language media outlet Noticias del Norte. The caption of the post, translated from Spanish, says that the video was from the Hollin River in the Napo province of Ecuador, where a family was swept away after the flow of the river increased.

Screenshot comparisons of the same frame on the video posted by the claim and the video posted in October 2023. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also found other news reports about the incident in Ecuador by Yahoo Ecuador dated 19 October 2023, Teleamazonas, a major Ecuadorian television network, and another report by Ecuadorian news website Quenoticias dated 17 October 2023, which carried videos and photos of the incident. According to the reports, this incident occurred on 13 October 2023, and the video went viral on social media on 17 October 2023. The news reports state that local authorities rescued all the tourists, and there were no fatalities.

We were also able to geolocate the point in the river visible in the video by searching for the Hollin River in Ecuador on Google Earth. Street View images match that of the original video in terms of the size and scale of the waterfall, surrounding rock structures, and the flora. The stairs visible in some frames of the photosphere and their location relative to the waterfall also match the stairs and their position, as seen in the viral video. 

Screenshot of the geo-location of the Hollin River in the Napo province of Ecuador. (Source: Google Earth/Modified by Logically Facts)

The verdict

This is a false claim because the incident captured in the video did not happen in Gujarat or any part of India after the Lonavala tragedy. It happened in Ecuador on 13 October 2023. 

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English , অসমীয়া

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