Old video from Chile passed off as destruction from Storm Daniel in Libya

By: Umme Kulsum
September 19 2023

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Old video from Chile passed off as destruction from Storm Daniel in Libya

Screenshots of claims made online (Source: Screenshots/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral video shows floods in Chile in March 2015 and is not from the recent flood in Libya.

Claim ID 91248db6

What’s the claim?

Flooding in the eastern coastal city of Derna, Libya, has left thousands dead and at least 10,000 more missing following Mediterranean Storm Daniel. Amid this, misattributed images and videos of devastation caused by the floods have gone viral online, with claims they depict the extreme weather event and its aftermath in Libya. 

One video of floodwaters washing away vehicles and houses is going viral on social media. In the clip, houses, cars, and trees can be seen being swept away by the torrents of water and mud; those sharing this video on social media claim it is from Libya. A TikTok post was captioned, “A major disaster has occurred in Libya so far as a result of floods.” This post had more than 17,000 views at the time of writing this story. The same video has also been shared on X, where it was viewed more than 3,000 times. The post was captioned in the Turkish language, “Libya'da sel felaketi 2000 ölü 7000 kayıp.” An English translation reads, "Flood disaster in Libya 2000 dead, 7000 missing."

Screenshot of what was claimed online (Source: Screenshot/Tiktok/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video predates the recent floods in Libya.

What we found

A reverse image search led us to a high-quality, uncropped version of the video clip, which was found uploaded to YouTube by ViralHog on April 7, 2015. The video's title reads, “Avalanche of Water And Mud in the Atacama Desert, Chile,” and the description states that the video was from a disaster that occurred on March 27, 2015. We can see a similar white signboard at the left corner in both videos. This confirms that the video shared now is from 2015 and has nothing to do with the Libya floods.

Comparison of the video by Viralhog and the viral video
(Source: YouTube, X/ Screenshots)

Logically Facts also found a similar video uploaded by Euro News and NBC News in their video reports dated April 2015. The title of both stated the video was from the devastation caused by deadly floods in Chile in March 2015.

According to NASA Observatory, in late March 2015, flash floods and mudslides devastated northern Chile's Antofagasta, Atacama, and Coquimbo regions. It was the heaviest and most widespread rainfall in the Atacama Desert region in over a century. The devastating floods caused widespread havoc, with 26 people killed and 101 more missing, as well as huge infrastructure destruction, a report by Relief Web states. 

The verdict

The video is from the 2015 floods in Chile and is being circulated in light of the floods in Libya caused by Storm Daniel. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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