False: Video shows stormy weather during Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand.

By: Ankita Kulkarni
February 20 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
False: Video shows stormy weather during Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand.


The Verdict False

The video of a "mini cyclone" in Port Macquarie, Australia, has been misattributed to Cyclone Gabrielle.

Claim ID 4a871909


At least 11 are dead, and thousands have been displaced due to Cyclone Gabrielle, which hit New Zealand in the first week of February 2023. The country has declared a national state of emergency following widespread flooding and landslides. Communications to several affected areas have been difficult, and surveillance is underway to protect the isolated, Reuters reported. Amid this, several videos were shared online claiming to be of the storm. One such Twitter post shared on February 11 shows a video of high-speed winds in a residential area, and the caption reads, "CYCLONE GABRIELLE IS HERE." The video garnered 164,700 views. However, the video has been misattributed. 

In Fact

Using keyframes from the viral video, we found that the clip was first shared on TikTok by a user named "thehonestweatherguy" on February 3, 2023. Several comments on the video said that the visuals are from Port Macquarie in Australia. A user comment stated, "this wasn't a cyclone, they called it a microburst, and this part of it only last a few minutes but caused so much damage."

Taking the cue from the word "microburst," we further researched to find if such an incident was reported from Port Macquarie in Australia on February 3. A report by an Australian local news outlet, news.com.au, noted that the residents of New South Wales coastal town of Port Macquarie experienced a mini cyclone on February 3 around 4 p.m. The report added that the winds started as a regular hailstorm and later went up to 120 kilometers per hour. The Port Macquarie NSW SES (State Emergency Service) noted that it had received 170 calls from people seeking help as several properties were severely damaged.

Sky News added that the weather bureau described the high-speed winds as a "microburst storm," while locals called it a "mini cyclone." The weather lasted about 10-20 minutes, but no significant injuries were reported.

The Verdict

The video has been misinterpreted to be from Cyclone Gabrielle, since it was shot during a "mini cyclone" that occurred in New South Wales in Australia. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

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