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Fact-Check: Old, Unrelated Videos Falsely Linked to Libya Floods

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

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Amid deadly floods near Derna, a coastal city in Libya, social media users are sharing videos of floods and landslides, claiming to show visuals from the flood-hit area.

  • Sharing these videos, people are condoling the loss of life and infrastructure in the country, where at least 5,000 people have been declared dead.

(Swipe to view all three claims.)

  • A video showing mud and debris rushing past a building is being linked to Libya.

    (Source: X/Screenshot)

(Archives of more claims with these clips can be seen here, here, here, and here.)

But...?: The three videos seen in these claims are all old and not related to the recent floods in Libya.

  • The first clip dates back to July 2021 and shows a mudslide in Atami, located in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture.

  • The video of cars getting washed away with people still in or on them is from Spain's Zaragoza, which saw flooding after torrential downpours in July of this year.

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  • Lastly, the video of water, mud and debris crashing against a bridge is from Saudi Arabia's Al Farsha and dates back to April 2016.

What is happening in Libya?: At least 5,300 people have lost their lives and thousands are feared missing after devastating floods wreaked havoc in parts of eastern Libya.

  • A storm named Daniel caused two dams to burst, leading to floods in the coastal city of Derna – which is the worst hit – and its surrounding areas.

  • Rescue and relief teams searched streets, buildings, rubble and the sea to look for bodies. The workers said that the floods had washed away most of the city's access roads, reported the Associated Press.

How did we find out?: We ran reverse image searches on screenshots taken from the videos to find the truth.

Video 1:

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

An archive of a post with this video as a claim can be seen here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

A reverse image search using Google Lens led us to a news report by CNN dated 3 July 2021, which mentioned that it showed a mudslide in Atami City in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture.

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

CNN's report was published on 3 July 2021.

(Source: CNN/Screenshot)

  • The report added that two people were presumed dead and around 20 people went missing because of the mudslide.

  • The Japan Times also reported on the incident, carrying a photo of former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga surveying the damage at the site.

  • You can watch The Quint's video report here.

Video 2:

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

An archive of a post with this video as a claim can be seen here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

A reverse image search on one screenshot from this video led us to a news report by Spanish-language news website Primera Hora.

0
  • This report, published on 8 July, carried several visuals of a flood in Spain and mentioned that the viral video showed flooding in the country's Zaragoza city.

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

The report mentioned that the visuals were from Spain's Zaragoza.

(Source: Primera Hora/Screenshot)

  • We looked for more visuals of the floods and came across two posts on X, which had shared the same video 8 July, mentioning that they showed floods in Zaragoza, Spain.

  • Australian news organisation 9 News Australia also uploaded this video on their verified YouTube channel.

Video 3:

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

An archive of a post with this video as a claim can be seen here.

(Source: X/Altered by The Quint)

Under one of the claims, a user commented saying that the video was from Saudi Arabia.

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

A user mentioned that the video may be from Saudi Arabia.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

  • Taking a cue from this, we used Arabic keywords to look for more information.

  • This led us to a video published on YouTube on 6 April 2016, mentioning that it showed flooding in Saudi Arabia's Al-Farsha area.

All of these videos are old and have no connection to the floods that have inundated parts of eastern Libya.

The video has been on the internet since 2016.

(Source: YouTube/Altered by The Quint)

The same video was also shared in a post on X in 2016.

We were able to spot the same buildings and bridge in a photo of Al-Farsha available on Google Maps.

(Swipe to view both images.)

  • The red and grey buildings are aligned in a similar manner in both visuals.

    (Source: X/Google Maps/Altered by The Quint)

Conclusion: Three old and unrelated videos are being shared on social media, claiming to show visuals from flood-hit Libya.

(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 webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here. For getting fact-checked content directly on WhatsApp, join our Channel here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Floods   Libya   Webqoof 

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