“On Kerala and even as the rescue operation are underway my colleague Snehesh is joining us live from Trivandrum”, said Republic TV news anchor introducing a report on Kerala floods. The on-ground reporting was accompanied by parallel representative visuals of the flood devastation in Kerala.

Starting 3:28, the Republic TV video has visuals of a two storey house falling down a hill. According to the text on the screen, this are from August 17, 2018. Unlike for most of the visuals shown in the reportage, the location of the visual in question wasn’t stated. Although, it may be noted that the report was based on the “Kerala floods 2018” and thhe channel also promoted the hashtag #StandWithKerala while the footage was rolling.

International Ensemble

Kerala is witnessing the worst floods in almost a century, where the death toll has risen to 357 leaving over 7.2 lakh people displaced. The issue has got international media coverage. on August 17, 2018, The New York Times posted a video titled, “Floods in Kerala, India, Kill Hundreds” on its official Facebook page.

Floods in Kerala, India, Kill Hundreds

“I would have died there.” Heavy rains in Kerala, India, have caused some of the region’s worst flooding in nearly a century.

Read more: https://nyti.ms/2vMBSrt

Posted by The New York Times on Friday, 17 August 2018

At 0:25, the same visuals are seen inscribed with the text, “The flooding has triggered massive landslides and displaced more than 220,000 people”. It may be noted that only this single visual is subjected to question.

Khaleej Times, an English daily from United Arab Emirates(UAE) has also uploaded a video titled, “Kerala floods: The story so far” on August 18, 2018. At 0:45, the Khaleej Times video shows the same visuals of a two storey house crumbling down in a landslide.

Kerala floods: The story so far

Kerala floods: The story so far – https://bit.ly/2wdjjfz

Posted by Khaleej Times on Saturday, 18 August 2018

At 0:52, the Gulf News video posted on Facebook carries the same visual sourced from a Twitter account.

Watch: Update on the situation in Kerala – 800,000 now displaced

Posted by Gulf News on Sunday, 19 August 2018

The above video posted on August 19, 2018 has quoted “@LdTaparia” as source but we found that the account with a similar user name “LdTaparia1” has tweeted the video. The former hasn’t tweeted since March 19, 2018.

Video is from Kodagu, Karnataka

On Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy visited Kodagu(Coorg), one of the worst hit districts in the southern states. An article published by The Times of India on August 19, 2018, quoted a statement from the CM, “At least 1,500 people are stranded in various parts of the district, but the rescue officials have not been able to reach them due to bad weather and landslides. Efforts are being made to rescue them.” The incident of two storey house sliding down a slope due to a landslide is from Kodagu, Karnataka and not from Kerala.

An article published The News Minute on August 16, 2018 stated, “This scary video of the landslide in Kodagu shows how dangerous the situation in the district has turned.Luckily, no one was in the building at the time of the incident. Officials with the district administration said that people left their homes and headed to the hilltop when the rains lashed the villages.”

Multiple mainstream media outlets including Scroll, The Times of India and NDTV have also attributed the location of the video to Kodagu, Karnataka.

Alt News also found one more video of the same incident from a different angle posted on Facebook where people are conversing in Kannada.


“PRAY FOR Karnataka – ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ AND Kerala”


Posted by HKMC Social Welfare & Charitable Trust. on Sunday, 19 August 2018

Recently, visuals from Bankura, West Bengal were passed off as Kerala by Times Now. Multiple media organisations across the world have extensively covered the flooding in Kerala but in the process, lack of due diligence was observed as in this instance where an unrepresentative visual was used to portray the devastation.

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About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.