Needs context

As the southwest monsoon or Habagat unleashed heavy rains in many parts of the country, a reel circulated on Facebook (FB) showing a man opening a floodgate of a dam, suggesting it was in the Philippines.  

This needs context. While some local dams have opened their floodgates, the clip shown in the reel was not taken in the Philippines, but in China.

On July 29, the short video was published by an FB page that bore the caption: “Ingat po tayo mga kababayan [teary-eyed emoji] (Let’s be careful, fellow citizens)”.

A text superimposed throughout the 14-second video stated in Filipino that water is being manually released from a dam. Some FB users in the comments section asked people to keep safe while criticizing the government for the “unsafe” release of water from dams.

A reverse image search reveals that the earliest version of the video was published in June this year by Chinese social media Weibo which shows a man manually opening the floodgates of a dam in their country.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) observed on July 31 an increase in the water reservoir levels of several dams such as Angat, San Roque and Pantabangan, most still below their normal high water levels.

PAGASA stated on Aug. 1 that three dams – Ipo, Ambuklao and Binga – have conducted spilling operations to prevent overflow due to the expected rainfall brought by the monsoon winds intensified by Typhoon Falcon. It advised local disaster management offices and residents near the affected areas to “take appropriate action.”

FB Page Taga Tarlac Ako (created on Oct. 31, 2018) published the video, garnering over 10,000 reactions, 680 comments, 980 shares and 2.2 million 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.)