VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Reel DOES NOT show tsunami in China  


A Filipino Facebook (FB) user uploaded an old clip falsely claiming houses were being swept away by floods in China. The clip shows a tsunami hitting Japan in 2011. 

Posted on Aug. 4, the one-minute and 12-second video showed houses being decimated by a tsunami as residents scramble to escape. It also featured photos of cars submerged in flood water. 

The text in the video read: 

 “Akala mo movie clips lang Totoo na Pala (You would think they are just movie clips but they are actually real). China flood.” 

This is false. The video shows a tsunami ravaging the town of Minami-Sanriku in Japan after a magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11, 2011. 

YouTube channel saitoart uploaded the original video on April 11, 2011 with a description explaining the context, saying it was shot at Shizukawa High School on top of a hill. The FB reel showed a mirrored portion of the video. 

While the photos of cars stranded in floodwaters were taken in China, they are not recent. They were shot on July 20, 2021 when extreme weather conditions flooded Zhengzhou city. 

The FB Reel was uploaded a week after Typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri) hit China after ravaging the Philippines. Filipino netizens circulated the video as the Southwest monsoon continued to affect the Philippines.

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked other clips falsely passed off to show typhoon damage in China. (Read: Another ‘Typhoon Egay in China’ video MISLEADS netizens)

The video uploaded by the FB netizen has 1,600 reactions, 1,700 shares and 126,000 views as of writing. 


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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.)