Old, unrelated video falsely shared as recent 'Alaska tsunami'

By: Soham Shah
July 24 2023

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Old, unrelated video falsely shared as recent 'Alaska tsunami'


The Verdict False

The video was available on the internet as early as 2017 and is not related to the recent Alaska earthquake that prompted a brief tsunami warning.

Claim ID 69d07902


A video showing rising seawater, with waves gushing on to a sea shore and displacing two parked boats has gone viral on social media claiming that it shows a tsunami in Alaska. A man in a yellow jacket can be seen observing the boats and the person. The video was shared on Twitter on July 16 with the caption, "Alaska Tsunami #deprem #earthquake #alaska #tusunami #tsunami." The tweet has garnered over 83k views and 96 likes as of July 21. An archive link can be accessed here.

According to ABC News, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck near the coast of Alaska on July 16. The epicentre was 55 miles southwest of Sand Point, Alaska. The earthquake prompted a brief warning about a tsunami, which was later lifted. "A tsunami was generated by this event, but no longer poses a threat," said the National Tsunami Warning Center.

Several old videos have resurfaced and are being shared as related to this event. We found that this video is not from Alaska.

In Fact

We performed a reverse image search on keyframes of the video and found that it had been online since 2021. 

A YouTube channel called Newsflare posted the video titled "Fishermen Make A Lucky Escape As Tsunami Hits In Greenland" on May 10, 2021. The description of the video reads, “Shocking moment caught on camera when fishermen got surprised by the incredible power of a tsunami wave which hit Greenland's west coast. Luckily all three were able to escape the wave just in time.” It went on to state that the video was captured during a landslide-triggered tsunami on June 17, 2017.

A YouTube channel called Licet Studios also posted a longer version of the clip titled "GREENLAND TSUNAMI: Fishermen Run For Their Lives" in April 2021. The description of this video too provided similar details as the one posted by Newsflare. 

We found that Yahoo!Sports published a short report by Newsflare on June 17, 2017, carrying the video uploaded by the latter on YouTube. According to the report, the clip was filmed the same day, when a tsunami was caused by a landslide on the southern slope of the Umiammakku Nunaat peninsula.

A news article published in the journal Nature in June 2017 reported, “The landslide occurred on the evening of June 17, in the barren Karrat Fjord on the west coast of Greenland. It caused a sudden surge of seawater that wreaked havoc in the fishing village of Nuugaatsiaq, located on an island within the fjord about 20 kilometres away.” It also added that the tsunami washed away 11 houses and four people were carried away to sea and presumed dead.

Logically Facts was not able to independently verify the location seen in the video. However, as the video was available on the internet as far back as 2017, it cannot show July 2023 events in Alaska.

The Verdict

We mark the claim as false as the video predates the recent earthquake in Alaska. According to reports, it originates in Greenland and not Alaska.  

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before