Fact Check: Old and CGI videos flood internet amid deadly Storm Daniel in Libya

by The Technical Blogs


At least 2,000 people lost their lives as Storm Daniel unleashed deadly floods in Libya. While many shared photos and videos of the storm and its effects, there were also some who shared unrelated and even CGI clips. In this article, we will debunk two such videos.

Tornado and Lightning

One video of a tornado visible behind a building was widely shared. Occasional lighting can also be seen in the video. Haring it on Twitter, one person wrote: “Huge tornado caught on camera in Libya’s Benghazi as a result of Storm Daniel.” The archived version of one such post can be seen here.

Sky News Arabia also used this video in its collage related to Storm Daniel.

However, using a reverse image search, we found an uncropped version of this video on the stock images and footage website Shutterstock.

In this video, there was no tornado or lightning at all. However, a storm could still be seen taking place. The video was credited to “Cinematic Storm Footage”, a curation of hurricane, tornado, climate change, and storm videos shot professionally by filmmaker and storm chaser Gabriel Cox.

But who added the tornado and lightning to this video? We found the viral video featuring the tornado and lightning on the YouTube channel “rtsarovvideo”,

shared on September 4, 2023. As per the “About” section of this channel, it shares real and edited videos of natural disasters.

It is noteworthy that CGI videos shared on this channel have been falsely shared as footage from natural disasters like Tropical Storm Hilary and Cyclone Biparjoy earlier and have been debunked.

An Incoming flood

Another video shows a massive stream of water rushing towards and then and almost submerging a bridge. Vehicles could be seen moving away from the bridge as this happened.

This video was said to be from Libya and was shared with hashtags related to Storm Daniel. The archived versions of such posts can be seen here and here.

Responding to a viral claim, a person wrote that this video was from a 2016 flash flood in Saudi Arabia’s Al Farshah. Al Farshah is a locality in the Aseer province of Saudi Arabia.

We then found that the Saudi Arabian newspaper Azal had shared a longer version of this video on Facebook on April 8, 2016. The video’s description clearly mentioned that it showed a flood in Al Farshah.

Similarly, Daralakhbar.com, another media outlet from Saudi Arabia also shared this video with the same details in 2016. Unusual rains and flooding killed 18 people in Saudi Arabia in April 2016, as per media reports.

Thus, it’s clear that neither video shows Storm Daniel in Libya.

Edited By:

Sudeep Lavania

Published On:

Sep 13, 2023


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