Old video of flooding in Oman passed off as recent footage from Libya

By: Sam Doak
October 4 2023

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Old video of flooding in Oman passed off as recent footage from Libya

Sources: Facebook


The Verdict False

This video was filmed in Oman, not Libya.

Claim ID 8e81e0d7


On September 10, the Libyan city of Derna was affected by heavy flooding after severe weather caused two nearby dams to burst. While an official death toll is not available, estimates place the number of those who lost their lives in the tragedy above 10,000. 

In the wake of this disaster, social media users began posting large numbers of videos, purportedly recorded during the flooding. One of these, showing a number of cars attempting to drive off of a bridge ahead of incoming floodwater, has been posted widely on TikTok and Facebook.

Despite many social media users appearing to believe this video was filmed in Libya during recent flooding, Logically Facts has determined that this is not the case.

In fact

Using Google Lens, Logically Facts found a different video of the same bridge being affected by flooding. Posted on YouTube on June 22, 2019, by the newspaper Times of Oman, it is captioned “Heavy rainfall leads to flash floods erupting in Wadi Bani Ghafir in Wilayat Rustaq.”

While the video posted by the Times of Oman is of a visually similar incident and was recorded in the same location as the viral video, the cars are different, indicating it shows a separate incident. Noting this, Logically Facts searched for other videos with captions that mention Wadi Bani Ghafir. 

Through these means, Logically Facts found a video uploaded by a YouTube user on July 3, 2014. While it appears to be filmed from a different angle to the viral video in question, the placement of bystanders and vehicles indicates that both are comprised of the same footage, which has been flipped horizontally before being falsely reshared as footage from Libya. 

A comparison of stills from the viral clip and a YouTube video uploaded in 2014
Sources: Facebook and YouTube

Flipping videos and photographs is a common technique among those who purposefully share misattributed footage. This is in large part because it makes it more difficult for regular social media users and fact-checkers to debunk using reverse image search tools. 

The verdict 

The viral video in question was not recorded in Libya during the severe flooding that affected Derna in 2023. The footage it is comprised of was recorded in Oman and has been online since at least July 2014. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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