Old visuals from Kanyakumari shared as Chennai amid Cyclone Michaung

By: Ishita Goel
December 8 2023

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Old visuals from Kanyakumari shared as Chennai amid Cyclone Michaung

Social media posts claim that videos show the situation in Chennai after Cyclone Michaung(Source: Facebook/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

A 2021 video showing locals in Kanyakumari playing in rainwater is being falsely linked to cyclonic storm Michaung and its aftermath in Chennai.

Claim ID 366812db

Cyclonic storm Michaung made landfall over the Bay of Bengal off the south-eastern coast of India in December, bringing severe destruction to various cities. The storm triggered intense rainfall in Chennai, leading to widespread flooding. The Economic Times reported significant waterlogging in multiple areas of the city, including Maduravoyal, Porur, Saligramam, and Valasaravakkam. The downpour also caused trees to topple, blocking roads and disrupting power supply.

What is the claim?

In the aftermath of the cyclone, social media platforms saw a flurry of posts depicting the situation in Chennai. A particular video, showing people playfully swimming in muddy floodwaters went viral. Shared widely on platforms including X and Facebook (with archived links here, here, and here), the video was captioned, "Situation of common People on social media: prayers for Chennai they are in trouble 🙏 Meanwhile people of Chennai: (sic)."

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: Instagram/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

What are the facts?

Upon closer examination, we discovered that the viral video combined two separate clips. The first segment (0:00 to 0:04) showed men swimming in front of a building, while the second (starting at 0:05) depicted individuals floating on a road in muddy waters. A reverse image search revealed that both clips are from 2021.

The first clip

In the first clip, we observed Tamil text on a building, translating to "lord of ties (or hosts) how beautiful is your home!" This led us to identify the location as St. Michael Church Paruthiyaraithottam in Thuckalay, Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu. The church's door, brick-like wall design, Christ statue, black step, and adjacent tree matched those in the viral clip, confirming the video was from Kanyakumari, not Chennai.

Comparison of the viral clip and St Michael Church. (Source: X/Website/Modified by Logically Facts)

Further, through a reverse image search, we found a 29-second-long video with the same clip, posted by a Facebook page on November 14, 2021. The caption of this post also mentioned Kanyakumari. Therefore, the video predates Cyclone Michaung.

The second clip

A more extended version of the second clip was located in a November 13, 2021, Facebook post, described as being from Anjugramam, Kanyakumari.

Kaumudy Global, a media house in Kerala, shared a YouTube video using both clips on November 15, 2021, reporting on locals playing in the rainwater. The video title is “Watch: Locals playing football, doing push-ups in gushing waters amid flood| Kanyakumari rains.”

News 18 also reported on the video and located it to Kanyakumari.

The Times of India reported on November 13, 2021, that heavy rains disrupted everyday life in Kanyakumari. Deccan Herald said several places in the district were partially submerged in water.

While we couldn't independently verify the exact location of the incidents in the video, evidence from multiple sources indicates that the footage predates Cyclone Michaung in Chennai. Logically Facts has also fact-checked other videos being shared as clips showing the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung.

The verdict

Videos portraying flood scenes from Kanyakumari have been inaccurately shared as depicting the recent Cyclone Michaung in Chennai. Therefore, this claim is marked as false.

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