VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB reel of a landslide NOT in the Philippines 


As the Philippines experienced the effects of the southwest monsoon and back-to-back typhoons, a Facebook (FB) reel showing people running away from a landslide resurfaced and gained traction. It is a seven-year-old video that was actually taken in Indonesia.

Uploaded by a netizen on July 24, the misleading clip showed several individuals scrambling amid rising flood waters and a hilly site collapsing in the background. 

The caption did not specify where the incident took place, leaving several netizens confused.

The video was shot in 2016 when heavy rains and tidal waves caused flooding and landslides in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.  

Reverse image search revealed that a FB user from Indonesia uploaded the original clip saying it was captured on June 21, 2016.  The video was cropped and mirrored in the circulating reel.

Reports from Indonesian news organizations further specified that the footage took place in Sangihe Islands Regency. According to a BBC Indonesia report, the flooding and landslide left four people dead and 40 houses damaged. 

The misleading reel was reposted as parts of the Philippines experienced heavy rains and strong winds induced by Typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri). 

The same video circulated in the country a few months ago. On May 28, a FB page uploaded the clip falsely claiming that it happened during Typhoon Mawar’s onslaught. Fact-checking organizations in India also flagged posts erroneously saying that the clip was taken in Himachal Pradesh last July. 

The FB reel posted by the netizen currently has 4,500 reactions, 371 comments, 449 shares and 611,00 views.


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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.)