Video from China passed off as footage of recent hailstorm in Manipur

By: Chandan Borgohain
May 8 2024

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Video from China passed off as footage of recent hailstorm in Manipur

Social media users are falsely sharing a video from China as footage of a hailstorm in Manipur. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral video is reportedly from the Guangzhou region in China and predates the recent hailstorm that hit Manipur on May 5.

Claim ID 4fbbc3ed

What is the claim?

A video showing a heavy hailstorm has been widely circulating on social media with claims that it is from India's northeastern state of Manipur. Intense rain, accompanied by a heavy hailstorm, wreaked havoc in Manipur on May 5, causing damage to homes and vehicles and prompting the state government to announce a relief package worth Rs 6.90 crore for people affected by the hailstorm. 

Sharing the clip on X (formerly Twitter), along with two other images depicting the damage caused by the hailstorm, a user wrote that it showed "unprecedented and incessant heavy rainfall & hailstorm" in the state. Archived versions of such posts on X and Facebook on May 5 and 6 sharing the viral clip can be viewed here, here, and here.

Screenshots of social media posts sharing the viral video. (Source: X/Screenshot)

However, this video is not from Manipur and was reportedly captured during a hailstorm in the Guangzhou region in China on April 27.

What did we find?

A reverse image search on one of the video's keyframes led us to an X post shared on April 27 by the website Severe Weather Europe (archived here) with the caption, "Bizarre giant hail video in Guangxi, China this week. Video posted by @yangyubin1998."

We tracked down the original clip shared online by the X user, mentioned by Severe Weather Europe, on April 27 (archived here), along with another clip depicting severe rain and hailstorm. The caption of the post read, "Hail in Guangdong and Guangxi, China these two days."

Extreme weather, tornado in China's Guangzhou

Several local media outlets reporting on the incident have shared photos of hail stones and damages caused by the extreme weather. According to the South China Morning Post, a strong tornado, accompanied by rain and hailstorm, lashed China's southern megacity of Guangzhou on April 27 killing five people.

The viral clip can also be seen in a YouTube video (archived here) titled "GIGANTIC Hail Pelts Southern China - Apr. 27 / 30, 2024 中国的冰雹" uploaded on the channel' Disaster Compilations,' which regularly shares such weather-related videos. Visuals between 0:01 and 0:33 marks show the same footage from the viral clip. According to the description of the video, a severe thunderstorm and hailstorm hit Guangzhou in the afternoon of April 27. Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province in southern China.

A Chinese citizen journalist, Zhao Lanjian, shared the same video on X on April 27, also suggesting that it was captured in Guangzhou. 

Logically Facts contacted Taiwan FactCheck Center for more information on the viral video and received a video about the tornado and hailstorm in Guangzhou, posted by the official Chinese media agency Xinhua on April 27 in response. The clip in question appears at the 00:11 mark of this video.  

While we could not independently ascertain the exact location of the video, media reports, and social media posts suggest that it depicts a hailstorm in South China's Guangzhou city. Further, the hailstorm in Manipur occurred on May 5, whereas the viral clip has been available online since April 27, clearly indicating that the viral video is unrelated to Manipur. 

We found that the other two photos being shared on social media along with the viral clip appeared in news reports about heavy rainfall and hailstorm that hit Manipur on May 5. 

The verdict

The viral video, which has been available online since April 27, predates the recent hailstorm in Manipur and reportedly shows a strong hailstorm in China. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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