Monday, September 20, 2021
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HomeFact checkViral Landslide Video Attributed To Cloudburst In Dharamshala Is Actually From Japan’s...

Viral Landslide Video Attributed To Cloudburst In Dharamshala Is Actually From Japan’s Atami City

Online users shared a terrifying video of a landslide claiming it to be a cloudburst in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The video shows a horrifying landslide tearing down buildings and electric poles on its way. 

On 12 July, a Twitter user shared this video with the caption, “Another frightful  video of #cloudburst in #Mcleodganj #Himanchalpradesh #Dharamsala #Dharamshala Hope no one lost his life in this flood.”

An archived version of the tweet can be viewed here.

Another Twitter user’s post along with the video read, “#HimachalPradesh #cloudburst Pray for Himachal Pradesh.” This claim was shared on Facebook as well. 

This claim went viral on social media after it was reported that Dharamshala was hit by flash floods after heavy rains on the night of 11 July.  “A woman was killed and about 10 people were reported missing in landslides triggered by heavy rains in Boh village of Shahpur sub-division of Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district on Monday,” reads a report by Hindustan Times. 

A video viral on social media shows about a dozen cars and bikes being swept away after a drain near Bhagsunag in upper Dharamshala, adjoining McLeodganj, changed its course owing to heavy rains. 

IMD has issued an orange weather warning of heavy to very heavy rains in plains and mid-hills on Monday and Tuesday and a yellow weather warning for July 14 and 15 in Himachal Pradesh. 

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Fact Check / Verification

We performed a reverse image search of keyframes from the claim’s video on InVid, an online verification tool. This led us to a report by The Sun which includes similar images from the viral video, titled, “TOTAL DEVASTATION Japan landslide: Horror mudslide buries houses, swamps cars, leaves 20 people missing and two dead after heavy rain.”

As per The Sun’s report, after heavy rainfall, a massive mudslide in Japan’s Atami City swept a town tearing down buildings and vehicles with it in early July. 

Screenshot of The Sun's report on landslide in Japan's Atami City
Screenshot of The Sun’s report on landslide in Japan’s Atami City

On 3 July, at least two people were killed and many others were reported missing after heavy rains hit Japan’s central city of Atami in Shizuoka, triggering landslides, reported Aljazeera. 

Screenshot of AlJazeera's report on landslide in Japan's Atami City
Screenshot of AlJazeera’s report on landslide in Japan’s Atami City

AlJazeera’s report includes a tweet by Tomohiro Osaki, Features Writer at Japan Times who shared the viral video of the landslide in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. 

Other news outlets including Tokyo’s news agency, Kyodo News and BBC reported on landslides hitting the country’s Atami City. 

“Atami’s Mayor Sakae Saito told local media that up to 300 homes had been affected by the landslide,” reads the BBC report.

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Conclusion

The viral video of a landslide tearing down buildings, vehicles, and electric poles on its way is from Japan’s Atami City after heavy rains triggered landslides in early July. 

Result: Misplaced Context

Our Sources

The Sun: https://www.the-sun.com/news/3209651/horror-landslide-japan-missing-buries-houses/

AlJazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/3/japan-torrential-rains-unleash-landslides-20-missing-report

BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57704967

Kyodo News: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/07/204106b69352-urgent-list-of-missing-people-in-atami-mudslide-narrowed-to-24-from-64.html

Hindustan Times: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/woman-killed-10-missing-as-flash-floods-landslides-hit-dharamshala-101626122990200.html

Mint: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/cloudburst-in-himachal-s-dharamshala-heavy-rain-blocks-shimla-national-highway-watch-video-11626069731189.html


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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