A video showing a massive block of snow cascading down a mountainside and plunging into a lake has gone viral on social media. Some social media users and a Sikkim-based digital outlet have claimed that it shows a cloud avalanche in the eastern wall of Mount Everest. But this claim is misleading.
“It’s a rarest of all the rare occurrence to witness an event as breathtaking as the ‘Cloud Avalanche’ that took place recently atop the Eastern Wall of majestic Mt. Everest in Nepal,” said a report published in Voice of Sikkim on February 26, 2023.
Alaa Elsayed had posted the video on Facebook two days earlier, on February 24, 2023, with the caption, “Unseen phenomenon (cloud avalanche) in Nepal, on the eastern wall of the Everest mountain range.” As of March 11, 2023, his post had received 2.9 million views, 88,000 likes, and over 2,200 comments. Several Facebook posts have claimed the video shows the eastern wall of the Everest mountain range.
On March 1, 2023, @NDTV, the Twitter handle of New Delhi Television, posted a photo of the same “avalanche” which was attributed to Dr. Subramanian Narayanan on LinkedIn (see sreenshot). NDTV tweeted: “Video Shows ‘Unseen’ Phenomenon Of ‘Cloud Avalanche’ On Mount Everest In Nepal.”
Dr. Narayanan’s caption for the video on LinkedIn matches Alaa Elsayed’s post on Facebook.
@JIX5A posted on Twitter with the caption that partly read: “cloud avalanche on the eastern wall of the Everest mountain range.” The tweet was viewed over 54000 times. When a Twitter user questioned the assertion in the tweet, @JIX5A responded with a link to the report in Voice of Sikkim.
Does the video show a recent cloud avalanche in the Everest mountain range?
Nepal Check broke the video into several keyframes and performed reverse image searches on search engines such as Google and Yandex. The investigation revealed that Accuweather had published a report and video footage of an avalanche that was attributed to Kiran Shrestha’s YouTube channel. Shrestha and his companions were camping at Kapuche Lake, where one of them, Shambhu Adhikari, was recording himself playing guitar when the avalanche struck, according to the report. “One of my friends was shooting his own video while playing the guitar, and in that moment it came. I saw something coming and then I thought, ‘That is the one.’ That was the avalanche,” Kiran Shrestha was quoted in the report. The report confirms that the avalanche video was filmed on January 9, 2021.
The video was captured on January 9, 2021, according to a Washington Post report published on April 23, 2021. The report credited the video to Shambhu Adhikari.
A second Google search, this time with the keywords “Shambu Adhikari (and its variation), Kiran Shrestha, and avalanche in Nepal,” led us to a video on Twitter on January 19, 2021. Weather Network, a Canadian weather forecast media, uploaded it. “Shambhu Adhikari was sitting down to record a song at Kapuche Glacier in Nepal when a massive avalanche was triggered high in the mountains above his camp,” the tweet read.
To learn more, we conducted a YouTube keyword search using terms like “Kiran Shrestha avalanche.” ShresthaKiranz uploaded a 4 minutes and 50 seconds video to YouTube on January 11, 2021. “Kapuche lake 2021 (avalanche)” is the video’s title.
We also ran a keyword search using terms Shambhu Adhikari avalanche. We found a 6-minutes and 29 seconds video uploaded by Shambhu Adhikari with the title “Kapuche lake 2021 (live avalanche)” on January 14, 2021. The video shows Adhikari filming himself playing a guitar on the lake’s shore.
Nepal Check confirmed via Google Maps that the lake in the video is Kapuche Glacier Lake, which is located in the Annapurna region of Nepal’s Gandaki Province, about 280 kilometers west of Mount Everest.
Therefore, the claim that the video shows a cloud avalanche in the eastern wall of Mount Everest is misleading. The video shows an avalanche at Kapuche Glacier Lake in the Annapurna region on January 9, 2021.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Video shows a cloud avalanche in Nepal, on the eastern wall of the Everest mountain range.||Social media users and Indian news media.||Misleading|
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