2011 Clip of Tsunami in Japan Falsely Shared as Video From China

Social media users have shared the 2011 clip from Japan as China's Three Gorges dam's gates being opened.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The 2011 video showing a tsunami in Japan is being shared as 'Gorges Dam in China'.</p></div>

A video of strong ocean waves crossing the seawall and washing away boats, cars, and small structures is being shared on social media. The video, which shows a lot of damage and destruction, is being shared with the claim that it showed the effect of China's Three Gorges Dam gates being opened.

However, we found that the clip is old. The 2011 video shows tsunami waves hitting the Iwate prefecture on Japan's eastern coast.



Social media users are sharing the clip with the claim: "Due to heavy rain the Gorges Dam in China was opened. See what happened next."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archived version of this post can be accessed <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

An archived version of this post can be accessed here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

More such claims on Facebook can be seen here, here, here and here.


Using InVID, a Google Chrome extension for video verification, we broke the video down into multiple frames and ran reverse image searches on them.

The results led us to a YouTube video uploaded by user 'Jon Lu', which carried the visuals and identified the incident as 'The 2011 Tsunami in Japan'.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The VR video identifies the incident as 'The 2011 Tsunami in Japan.'</p></div>

The VR video identifies the incident as 'The 2011 Tsunami in Japan.'

(Source: YouTube/Screenshot)

Using '2011 Japan Tsunami' as additional keywords to the reverse image search, we looked for video reports about the devastating disaster. We found a report by ABC News dated 14 March, 2011. The report carries a logo on the top-right, attributing the video to ANN (All-Nippon News Network).

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The report was uploaded to YouTube in 2011, days after the tsunami.</p></div>

The report was uploaded to YouTube in 2011, days after the tsunami.

(Source: YouTube/Altered by The Quint)

Both videos of the incident have the same visuals. For instance, this vessel can be seen toppling near a bridge in the claim as well as ABC News' report.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The report carries the same visuals as the video in the claim.</p></div>

The report carries the same visuals as the video in the claim.

(Source: Facebook/YouTube/Altered by The Quint)

We looked further and found the video uploaded to 'ANNnewsCH' early last year in 2020, titled 'Tsunami, Great East Japan Earthquake - Miyako city, Iwate Pref, Japan [11 Mar 2011]'.

Clearly, the video does not show the effect of the Three Gorges Dam gates being opened in China. It is an old video from Japan that shows tsunami waves in Miyako city in Iwate Prefecture.


(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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