Video of 2016 flash flood in Saudi Arabia misattributed to Storm Daniel in Libya

By: Sam Doak
September 14 2023

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Video of 2016 flash flood in Saudi Arabia misattributed to Storm Daniel in Libya

Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

This video was recorded in Saudi Arabia in 2016.

Claim ID 03328088


On September 10, 2023, the Libyan port city of Derna experienced severe flooding caused by Storm Daniel. As of September 13, the death toll following this disaster stands at over 5,000, and thousands remain missing. 

In the aftermath of this event, numerous misattributed videos have circulated widely on social media, with users claiming they show the devastation caused by the recent flood. One particularly prevalent example shows floodwater moving downhill towards a low bridge. As the water reaches this structure, nearby cars divert to avoid the oncoming flood. 

To date, this video has been posted on all major social media networks, attributed to the flooding in Derna in each. Despite this, Logically Facts has determined that the footage was not filmed in Libya. 

In fact

A reverse image search reveals that this footage has been circulating for years. One of the earliest examples uploaded to social media that Logically Facts found was uploaded to Facebook by the Arabic-language news outlet Daralakhbar on April 8, 2016. Daralakhbar describes the footage in the caption as “A torrent from Wadi Al-Farsha in Tihama Qahtan blocks the road for cars and pedestrians.”

A markedly similar post shared on Facebook on the same day by the Saudi newspaper Ajel contains the same video with the caption, “Watch... The torrent of Wadi Al-Farsha in Tihama Qahtan blocks the road for citizens #Saudi Arabia.”

Logically Facts searched for further coverage of this event. A second video, showing the same location recorded from a different angle, also describes the area as Tihama Qahtan, a region in the southwest of Saudi Arabia.

Flash flooding occurred in this region between April 8-10, 2016, as confirmed by the website FloodList, which states, “Heavy rain and flash floods in Saudi Arabia and Oman between 08 and 10 April have left 5 people dead and several villages cut off.” 

The verdict 

This video does not show recent flooding in Libya. Versions of the same footage have circulated online since April 8, 2023. The earliest reliable sources that reported this video claim it was recorded in the south of Saudi Arabia, which was experiencing flooding at this time. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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