Old videos of different cyclones passed off as visuals of Hurricane Idalia

By: Umme Kulsum
September 1 2023

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Old videos of different cyclones passed off as visuals of Hurricane Idalia


The Verdict False

The two videos are not related to Idalia. One video was taken in Kansas in May 2022, and the other is from Taiwan and was taken in 2015.

Claim ID 6e47e8b5

What's the claim?

Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a high-end category 3 storm in the early hours of August 30 near Keaton Beach, a secluded and popular fishing spot in Florida's Big Bend region, and was later downgraded to a tropical storm. According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), Idalia is the first major storm to impact the region since Hurricane Easy in 1950.

Several clips claiming to be visuals of the Idalia's aftermath are going viral on social media. One post on X (formerly Twitter) shared a 19-second clip featuring two videos clipped together, with the description, "Category 4 Hurricane Idalia makes landfall in Florida bringing waves 12ft, tornado #CAT 4 hope it passes quickly." The post included several viral hashtags related to Idalia and had been viewed more than 150,000 times at the time of publishing.  An archive version can be accessed here.

The two videos showed the destruction caused by a cyclone and stormy weather. The first video shows a tornado moving toward a residential neighborhood and destroying everything, including houses and fences, on its way. The second video, seemingly shot from a car's front seat, shows a car in the front being swept away by strong, unforgiving winds.

(Source: X/@csgl_vy/@@businessweek07 / Altered by Logically Facts)

However, both videos are unrelated to Idalia.

What are the videos from?

Video 1

A reverse image search showed that the video was shared on Facebook on May 5, 2022. The footage was uploaded by Kake News, an ABC-affiliated television station in Wichita, Kansas. According to the video's description, the video was shot by one Taylor Train during a tornado in Andover, a city in Butler County, Kansas. 

This video was also shared on X by user Stan Price on May 6, 2022. The X post was captioned, "This man @TaylorTrain91 filmed a tornado THIS CLOSE and escaped into the basement with only a split second to spare. He felt it sucking him back as he stepped foot into the basement. I'm going to interview him soon so we can get in his own unedited words of what happened."

When we looked into Taylor Train's X account, we found that he had also reposted the video uploaded by Stan Price.

This original video has been flipped, and the resulting mirror video has been shared online with the claim that it captures Idalia in action.

Comparison of screenshots from Kake News Coverage and the viral video
(Source: Kake News YouTube, X/@csgl_vy)

Video 2

After a reverse image search, we found the second video was uploaded on YouTube by CNN on August 10, 2015, with the title, "Car blown away by Taiwan typhoon caught on video." The description under the video stated that it shows a typhoon sweeping a car clear out of sight on a road in Taiwan. 

Comparison of screenshots from CNN news coverage from 2015 and the viral video
(Source: CNN YouTube, X/@csgl_vy)

This establishes that the two clips predate Hurricane Idalia.

The verdict

Old video clips have been wrongly shared to show the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, which recently hit the coastal region of the South Atlantic States in the U.S. 

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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