A video is being shared to claim that it shows a tornado hitting West Bengal ahead of Cyclone Yaas’ landfall in the state.
This comes soon after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly said on Tuesday, 25 May, that two people had lost their lives after being electrocuted during a tornado in Hooghly district, ahead of Cyclone Yaas that made landfall in Odisha on Wednesday, 26 May.
While we found that the viral video is old and could be traced back to 2016, we haven’t been able to independently verify its location.
Journalist Soumyadit Majumder shared the viral visuals claiming that they showed the tornado that hit West Bengal.
Media outlet Hindustan Times carried the visuals in its report on the tornado, on Facebook and Instagram accounts and mentioned that they had been “locally sourced”.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We divided the video into multiple keyframes using InVid and reverse searched them on Yandex, which led us to a tweet from 2020 carrying the viral visuals.
We then came across a YouTube video uploaded in August 2016, which is a longer version of the viral one. The viral visuals can be seen from 0:51 seconds in the two-minute YouTube video.
The caption along with the video uploaded by user Musafir Sujon read: ‘Real cyclone seen by Sujon’ and in the comments section, he claimed that the video is from Bangladesh.
It is pertinent to note that The Quint’s WebQoof team has not been able to independently verify the location of the video.
Here’s a comparison between viral visuals and the one uploaded on YouTube in 2016.
With help of the aforementioned information, it can be established that the viral video in question is an old one and unrelated to Cyclone Yaas.
WHAT HAPPENED IN WEST BENGAL?
On Tuesday, 25 May, Mamata Banerjee, while addressing a press conference said that the tornado in the state lasted for nearly one and a half minute and destroyed as many as 40 houses.
"I have spoken to all the district magistrates about Cyclone Yaas. I will stay in Nabanna (the state secretariat) tonight. I will monitor the situation closely," she added.
Causing extensive damage, Cyclone Yaas made its landfall at Balasore in Odisha at 9:15 am on Wednesday, 26 May, after intensifying into a ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm on Tuesday.
The low-lying areas and coastal towns of north Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal were severely hit by the storm with a speed of 130-140 kmph. The cyclone completed the landfall process around 1 pm, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).