Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab
Videos from three countries used in spreading misinformation about flood

Videos from three countries used in spreading misinformation about flood

Fatema Tabasum

Fellow, Dismislab

Several videos have spread on social media claiming that flood water is entering Bangladesh from India. Dismislab’s verification found four such videos, none showing water entering Bangladesh. These include videos from China, Ecuador and India. The Indian video was posted on Facebook directly claiming: “Due to the arrival of water from India, a family in Sylhet is looking at the situation in Sylhet…”. Actually, the incident is entirely from India. On July 1, five people lost their lives, a fact already reported by Indian media.

Lonavala, India

On July 1, a video depicting the torrential water flow in Lonavala, India, was shared on Facebook by a user. The caption reads, “Heavy water flow from Awami League and supporters friendly state India and Teesta 44 barrages have been opened. So the water is increasing in Sylhet and there is a possibility of flood water increasing again”. The video has been viewed over a thousand times on Facebook. Another user is seen sharing the same video as a reel. He wrote in the caption “How water comes from India to Bangladesh”. The reel captured the moment when nine to ten individuals, including those who perished, were stranded in the middle of a stream, crying for help as the water’s ferocity grew. Nearby, a few others were attempting to rescue them.

The same video can be found on another Facebook profile, where the caption reads: “May Allah have mercy on the people of Sylhet. “Look at the condition of a family in Sylhet due to water coming from India. Yet, some of our ministers will claim that we have a husband-wife relationship with India. 😡😡😡😡 Come, we all pray to Allah, may Allah have mercy on the people of Sylhet and protect them.”

Two of the three Facebook profiles (1, 2), that shared the video, indicate they are Bangladeshis. One profile shows no visible information about location. The original video was captured in the hillside of ​​Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Various Indian media has reported the incident as “Lonavala waterfall tragedy.” Maharashtra, Pune or Lonavala are by no means border regions of Bangladesh. The states or territories on the Indian side of the India-Bangladesh border are West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram (Source: Border Management: Dilemma of Guarding the India-Bangladesh Border). Thus, the flooding in Bangladesh has no connection with this particular incident.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

On June 23, a reel shared on Facebook depicted a mountain stream coming down at high speed. In the video a voice can be heard exclaiming, “Look brother! How flood water from India is entering Bangladesh.” The reel has been shared over six thousand times and garnered reactions from more than fifty thousand users. The same video was posted on YouTube on June 21, claiming to be a scene of “Devastating floods in Mizoram,” an Indian state. This video has also appeared on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, each with varying claims.

Dismislab, through Reverse Image Search and Satellite Maps, verified that the location in the video is the renowned tourist spot in China known as Tiger Leaping Gorge. A 360 degree view of this site can also be found on the map. The tourist center is referred as “Hutiao Xia (虎跳峡)” in China. Visitors flock to this destination in the Yunnan province to witness the powerful current of the Jinsha River. Numerous videos of this spectacle can be found on verified channels on Instagram and YouTube and Facebook.

Ecuador

On June 19, a video depicting a heavy water flow was shared on Facebook with the captioned, “Water from India is entering Bangladesh, a terrible scene.” Dismislab, Reverse Image Search, traced this video to an Instagram account. The account was verified as belonging to TCTelevision – a state-run television channel in Ecuador. A keyword search also revealed the same clip on a local Ecuadorian’s Facebook profile. A report by TCtelevision, published on June 18, stated “Over 54 rain events have been reported in 10 provinces of the country, causing landslides, floods, and flash floods, as reported by the National Secretariat for Risk Management.”

On June 30, a person posted a picture on Facebook claiming, “India’s water has finally started entering.. Who said India is not our friend….? …Vandemataram – Joybangla.” Upon verification, it was found that the original picture actually depicts a village in Gabura Union of Shyamnagar, flooded after a dam on the Kapotaksh river in Satkhira, Bangladesh, was eroded. This incident occurred during August in 2020, and the image was published in various media outlets in the country at that time.


An old video from 2017 of Panchet Dam in the Indian state of Jharkhand recently went viral on TikTok, falsely claiming to be Farakka and attributing it to the recent floods in Sylhet. A fact-check repor (YouTube report) on this misinformation has been published by Daily Ajker Patrika. Additionally, another unrelated video circulated widely before the last Eid festival, claiming that “Countless Indian cows are swimming in before Eid”. This video also underwent scrutiny, and a fact-check report was published by Dismislab at that time.