A video that shows a spiraling column of air moving upwards from the ground is being massively shared on social media with the claim that it is a "holy event" where "clouds are taking Ganga water" from the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, now called Prayagraj.
The Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj is the confluence of the Ganges (Ganga), the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river. It is a place of religious importance, and one of the sites for the historic Kumbh Mela held every 12 years.
However, we found it was a waterspout (subcategory of a tornado), a column of rotating, cloud-filled wind that descends from a cumulus cloud to an ocean or a lake, phenomenon that was witnessed at Jejuri in Pune district of Maharashtra in 2018.
Speaking to The Quint, Mayuresh Prabhune, Secretary from Center for Citizen Science, who had visited the spot in 2018, said this occurs due to formation of cumulonimbus clouds (convective cloud or cloud system that produces rainfall and lightning).
The video is being shared on social media with the claim in Hindi that reads, "इलाहाबाद के संगम में गंगा से बादल पानी ले जाते हुए यह पहली बार हुआ है। यह 25-7-22 के शाम को हुआ, प्रकृति का अद्भुत दृश्य देखें।"
(Translation: This is the first time that has happened at the holy place of Allahabad (now Prayagraj) where clouds are taking the Ganga water. This happened on 25 July evening. Watch the amazing view of nature.)
WHAT WE FOUND
We took the help of InVid, a video verification tool, and extracted several keyframes from the video, then conducting a reverse image search on some of them.
A Yandex reverse image search led us to a video on Twitter published by a media channel named Pune Mirror.
The video was posted on 10 June 2018, and said that it was a "tornado that was witnessed in Maharashtra for the first time."
Taking this as a cue, we conducted a keyword search and found multiple news reports about the event from 2018.
A NDTV report from 10 June 2018 said that the video is from Ramalla village in Pune that had taken place on 8 June.
A three-member team of the Pune-based Center for Citizen Science (CCS), lead by senior meteorologist Dr JR Kulkarni, analysed the phenomena, saying that for the first time a tornado was recorded officially in Maharashtra, the report read.
PHENOMENON MIX OF WATERSPOUT AND TORNADO, EXPERT SAYS
Further, we got in touch with Mayuresh Prabhune, Secretary from Center for Citizen Science who confirmed to The Quint that the video is from 2018, and from Jejuri, adding he was part of the team that had investigated the spot on 9 June 2018 within 24 hours of the event limit.
The tornado had taken place at Ranmala village, Jejuri in Pune. The duration of the tornado was 90-120 seconds, and the total distance covered by ground point was 800 to 1,000m (including water and ground), Prabhune said.
"The phenomenon started on the dam water as a waterspout, later ended on the ground. It happens due to the formation of cumulonimbus clouds."Mayuresh Prabhune, Secretary, Center for Citizen Science
Clearly, an old video is being shared on social media with the false claim that a "holy event" occurred at Prayagraj recently.
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