Rescue footage from typhoon Doksuri in Beijing misrepresented as flooding in Libya

By: Vivek J
September 14 2023

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Rescue footage from typhoon Doksuri in Beijing misrepresented as flooding in Libya

(Source: Screenshot/X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video dates back at least one month and is from China. It is not related to the September 2023 floods in Lybia.

Claim ID e08727f7

What is the claim? 

On September 13, 2023, Libya witnessed massive floods as two dams collapsed following heavy torrential rains in the eastern part of the country. Quoting official sources, the Libyan News Agency (Lana) reported that the death toll had reached 5,300 people, while over 10,000 people were reported missing.

Media outlets including the Washington Post quoted Lybian officials as saying that the death toll could reach 20,000 people. 

Amid this disaster, social media is flooded with unrelated videos and images claiming to be from Libya. One such post (archive here) on X (formerly Twitter), which had over half a million views at the time of writing, claimed to show a video of rescue operations in Libya. The post’s caption in Arabic, when translated to English, reads, “Libya successful rescue operation.” Many others have shared the same video, claiming is from Libya (see archives here and here).

Screenshot of the X post claiming to show rescue operations during the floods in Libya. (Source: Screenshot/X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video is not from Libya and is at least a month old. 

What did we find?

A reverse image search of keyframes from the video led us to a YouTube video dated August 3, 2023, uploaded by CNN. Some visuals from the viral video of people being rescued can also be seen here. The same video was also shared by CNN on their website. The caption of this video reads, “Family trapped by typhoon flood waters rescued in daring attempt,” referring to typhoon Doksuri, which struck China’s capital, Beijing, at the end of July 2023. 

A watermark in the top right corner of the video on CNN’s website reads “Manya Koetse” along with the bird symbol of X (formerly Twitter), suggesting that the video was shared on X by this person. Manya Koetse, a writer a journalist who specializes in China social trends, online media & digital culture, posted the same video to their X account on August 1, 2023. 

Screenshot of the video shared on CNN’s website showing stranded people being rescued in Beijing. (Source: Screenshot/CNN)

The caption of the post containing the video reads, “This young man rescuing a family of three (plus dog) in Beijing with his front-end loader is being praised on social media as one of the "ordinary heroes" risking their own safety to come to the aid of others during the heavy rainfall and floods.”

We found an article by Manya Koetse dated August 1, 2023, on Whatsonweibo that contained the same video, which explained that this video had been viral for a few days and that Chinese media outlets have also reported about it. The article further noted that “the footage, shot by a local resident from a higher vantage point, captures the efforts of a man using a front-end loader to rescue three individuals. The man single-handedly maneuvers the loader, crossing a flooded bridge to reach a stranded family.”

The same video was shared on the China Peace website, a website sponsored by the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee. The article, dated August 2, 2023, was credited to CCTV News. This article identified the location of the incident as Beiqeying Village of the Fangshan district in Beijing. The man driving the forklift was identified as Lui Bing, a villager with years of experience operating the forklift who has taken part in similar rescue operations in the past. The article also noted that this incident occurred on July 31, 2023. 

Reuters reported that heavy rains caused floods in Beijing, killing dozens of people and inflicting structural damage in the affected area. 

The verdict 

This video was reportedly recorded from a village in the Fangshan district in Beijing during the floods caused by typhoon Doksuri on July 31, 2023. This video is not from Libya. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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