Facebook and Twitter users have circulated a photo of papaya plants damaged by winds, with claims that the images show the devastation in Nepal. On May 14, Twitter user @lux_subedi tweeted the photo with following caption: 

Some people throw *poison into fish farm. Some people set fire to the cages of chickens and pens of goats. Some people spray poison on the crops and destroy them. We live in a society with an evil mentality that doesn’t allow others to make a living. It’s because of such a criminal mindset that we will never make any economic strides. Never. This is a curse; it’s a sin. See, this incident is from Nepal.

The Twitter user claimed that the photo showed papaya plants damaged in Nepal. The tweet received over 18000 views, 152 likes, and 35 retweets. Several Facebook pages and groups have also shared the photo with the same caption.

We used reverse image search to find the source of the photo. We found that the photo was tweeted on May 26, 2021 by @SrilankaTweet along with the following information: “A young farmer from Olumadu area in Vavuniya has lost 600 Papaya Trees due to strong winds.” The handle had mentioned  @PragasGnanam, a Sri Lankan journalist.

Additional research led to a news report by Hiru News, a Sri Lankan news outlet, confirming the incident of strong winds damaging 600 papaya plants in Olumadu, Vavuniya. 

Similarly, Sri Lanka’s Journo.lk, which publishes human interest news, also published the news quoting local farmers. The report said: “Meanwhile, the condition of plantation crops such as papaya and banana has been severely affected by strong winds on May 25 and 26. In the Northern Province alone, farmers, who have suffered a loss of several million due to the devastation, do not know how to deal with the added loss.”

Photo of the damage published in a Sri Lankan news portal

Therefore, the claim that the photo represents damage to farms in Nepal is false, as it actually depicts an incident that occurred in Sri Lanka two years ago.

ClaimClaimed byNepal Check Verdict
Video shows farms damaged due to winds in NepalSocial media users.False
Nepal Check verdict after fact-checking a viral photo with claims it shows farms damaged due to winds in Nepal.

*Corrected to reflect the translation from Nepali.