False: Video shows Cyclone Gabrielle ripping off roofs of houses in New Zealand.

By: Anurag Baruah
February 20 2023

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False: Video shows Cyclone Gabrielle ripping off roofs of houses in New Zealand.


The Verdict False

The video shows the impact of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico's Ponce in 2022 and has no connection to Cyclone Gabrielle.

Claim ID 2268fa4f


Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand on February 12, 2023. At least 11 people are dead, while thousands remain missing. According to a report by The New York Times, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins termed it the country's "most significant weather event" this century, and a National State of Emergency was declared on February 14. The storm hit New Zealand's North Island, including the city of Auckland, causing heavy rain, strong winds, and huge waves, knocking out the power supply and stranding people on rooftops, the report said.

Following this, multiple photos and videos are circulating on social media, purported to show the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle. One such video was posted on Twitter on February 13 by the handle "DISASTERS IN THE WORLD" claiming that it shows roofs flying off of houses during Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand. The same video with a similar claim was also posted on the Facebook page of Northeast Live, a satellite news channel from Northeast India, on February 14, 2023. Both videos have garnered approximately 13,000 views. The video shows debris flying and trees swaying amid strong winds. 

However, the video dates back to 2022 and was recorded when Hurricane Fiona struck the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. 

In Fact

On searching keyframes of the viral video, we found the same footage in a 43-second video report published by The Weather Channel on October 5, 2022, with the headline, "Hurricane Fiona Rips Off Roofs In Puerto Rico." Text overlaid on the video mentions that the scene was from Ponce in Puerto Rico, where the wind blew away roofing from buildings and uprooted trees. 

Taking a cue from the copyright logos on the top right-hand side of the video, we traced the footage to the official YouTube channel of Live Storms Media Company, which supplies footage of weather-related incidents in the United States. The description of the video, uploaded on September 19, 2022, stated it showed an asphalt roof coming apart and winds causing swaying signs, flying debris, and falling power poles in Ponce, Puerto Rico, during Hurricane Fiona. 

A report by The Washington Post from September 23, 2022, stated that Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm on September 18, causing severe flooding, damaging homes, and leaving residents stranded without water, power, and shelter. 

The Verdict

The viral video shows the impact of Hurricane Fiona in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in September 2022. The video has no connection to Cyclone Gabrielle, which struck New Zealand on February 12, 2023. Therefore, we are marking the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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