As of 22 May, at least 80 people died after Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday, leaving behind a trail of destruction in Kolkata, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas districts.
Two different videos have gone viral with the claim that they are visuals of Cyclone Amphan. However, both the videos are of Cyclone Fani that hit Odisha in May 2019.
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg retweeted bureaucrat Ananth Rupanagudi’s tweet that claimed to show visuals of Cyclone Amphan.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
On scanning the replies to the viral tweet, we found that a user had suggested that the video is from Cyclone Fani.
@BBSRBuzz is the handle of Bhubaneswar Buzz, who on 3 May 2019 had shared the same visuals as seen in the viral video.
ପୁରୀରେ ଘଣ୍ଟାପ୍ରତି ୧୭୦ କିମି ଵେଗରେ ପଵନ, ଉଡ଼େଇ ନେଉଛି ଚାରି ଚକିଆ ଗାଡ଼ି !Posted by Bhubaneswar Buzz on Thursday, May 2, 2019
In another Facebook post on 3 May 2020, the account shared the video again with the caption: “This was our viral live video during Cyclone Fani landfall at Puri.170 km wind speed 10 am 3 May 2019.(sic)”
A Facebook page called ‘Haalat-E-Bengal Online’ shared another video with the claim: “Cyclone “Amphan” at Digha, West Bengal.”
The post had garnered over 3,300 shares at the time of publishing the article.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We divided the video into multiple keyframes and reverse searched them on Google which led us to a YouTube video published in May 2019. The text seen in the video reads: “Cyclone Fani batters Odisha.”
Since the video carries logo of The Economic Times, we searched on YouTube using keywords, “economic times cyclone fani” and found that the media outlet had indeed uploaded the video on 3 May 2019. The caption along with the video reads: “Cyclone Fani batters Odisha: Dramatic visuals”
In the first 22 seconds of the ET video, the visuals are same as that of the viral one. The organisation credited the video to a Twitter user @seriousfunnyguy who had shared the visuals in May 2019.
Cyclone Fani had made landfall in Odisha on 3 May 2019. The extremely severe cyclone caused extensive damage due to near 200 kmph winds and heavy rainfall.
Evidently, old visuals of Cyclone Fani were falsely shared to claim that they show the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan.
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)
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