VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Collapsed building in a YouTube video NOT from Abra quake

A YouTube video carried a thumbnail showing a collapsed building supposedly due to the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Lagayan, Abra, last month. It is misleading. 

Posted a day after the Oct. 25 quake, the video thumbnail’s text read, “Lindol sa Bayan ni Pres. BBM (Earthquake in the town of Pres. BBM)!” It continues to circulate this November.

The video made it appear that the collapsed building in the featured photo was in the hometown of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, which is Ilocos Norte. It also featured a 2015 Reuters photo of then-senator Marcos in a forum. 

The image of the collapsed building was not from the Philippines but in Taiwan after a magnitude 6.9 quake on Sept. 18. 

The photo came from a thumbnail of a Taiwan quake compilation video posted by the YouTube channel Disaster Compilation on Sept. 19. 

Visually similar images published by the Associated Press showed that the building was in Yuli township in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan. 

Apart from the thumbnail, the circulating misleading video only flashed the photo when it talked about Japan “facing numerous earthquakes every year.” 

The rest of the video showed actual images of fallen objects, damaged infrastructure and liquefaction in seashores, as well as clips uploaded after the Abra quake. 

The YouTube channel has been fact-checked previously for its frequent use of misleading thumbnails to attract viewers. (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Videos MISLEAD with infra photos, claimed as ‘gifts’ for Marcos)

The video posted by the YouTube channel ASK TEACHER POPONG (created on Dec. 29, 2018) has garnered 58,509 views. The Facebook page Stunning Facts That You Didn’t Know – And Beyond (Oct. 23, 2017) also reposted the link to the video.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)