Heavy monsoon rains have triggered floods and landslides across Nepal, killing scores of people in the last few weeks. Social media users have shared photos and videos of floods and landslides wreaking havoc in many parts of the country.
But as publicly sourced information on the monsoon madness continues to inform the people, misinformation abound. TikTok, the short video-sharing platform, has helped spread lies about the disasters. A TikTok user recently shared a video, which shows a road section caving in, claiming that it was in Nepal. On June 6, @majhikale posted the video clip and said it was a Narayangadh-Kathmandu road section collapsing due to the landslide.
In the 27-second video, a man is heard shouting, “Hold it tight. It’s huge! [Oh Lord] Ram, Ram, Ram!” At one point, a panicked voice says, “Move up.” At the end of the video clip, one can hear, “Wait, wait.” (The user has deleted the video clip).
Another Tiktok user named @suresh_singh_1987 has shared the same video with a caption that says someone called “Suman Dai (elder brother)” was missing in the landslide. One can also hear a male voice calling for “Suman Dai” to move to safety.
The clip has garnered 340,000 likes, 15,000 shares and 3,000 comments.
Another TikTok user, named @rajusapcota41, commented that the video doesn’t show the Narayangadh-Mugling section of the road.
But what is the truth behind the viral video? Nepal Check fact-checked the claims made in the video.
We repeatedly watched the video to determine its location. We conducted a Google search using the keywords: “landslide in Nepal”. The video didn’t turn up in the results.
We took screenshots of the video and conducted a Google reverse image search. We found a photo of a landslide in India that matched the images in the video. We found that India Today had published a news report on July 30, 2021, detailing that a massive landslide had occurred in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh in India. According to the report, the video showed a hilltop collapsing, sweeping away a portion of a road following torrential rains in the remote part of northern India.
The Hindustan Times’ YouTube channel published the video on July 31, 2021.
This is not the first time this video has been used to spread misinformation. On July 18, 2022, The Quint fact-checked a claim that the video showed a landslide in Anmod of Goa in India.
Nepal Check’s fact-check found that the same video has been used repeatedly to make false claims about landslides in various places. In the Nepali TikTok, a user added commentary in Nepali over the video.
Therefore, the TikTok video claiming it to be of a landslide along the Narayangadh-Kathmandu (Narayangadh-Mugling in some posts) road section is a misrepresentation of another landslide in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Video shows a section of Narayangadh-Kathmandu road caving in after a landslide.||TikTok users||False|