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Footage of SUVs being swept away in flash flood is not from Pakistan

The incident took place in Sharjah in September 2020

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Claim: A video shows four SUVs were swept away in a flash flood in Pakistan.

Fact: The video is, in fact, from September 2020 when flash floods hit Sharjah and the vehicles were swept away in the Wadi Shees.

Earlier this month, Facebook user ‘Muhammad Babbar Khan’ posted a reel — the social media platform’s recently-launched 30-second, vertical videos — showing at least four Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) being washed away by a flash flood.

The text, “Allah khr Kre [May God protect us]” is superimposed on the reel and the poster responded to comments inquiring about the location of the video saying, “Shyd Muzfrabad k qareh ka koi ilaqa ha [It’s probably some area near Muzaffarabad],” and “pta nhi sir shud muzafrabad ki side ha [I don’t know sir, it’s probably near Muzaffarabad].” Other comments include several claims such as:

  • “یہ تو افغانستان سے سمگل ھورھی ھے ۔ نان کسٹم پیڈ گاڑیاں ھے ۔ [There are being smuggled from Afghanistan, non-custom paid vehicles.]”
  • “This is USA not Pakistan”
  • “یہ افغانستان سے بزریعہ سیلاب سمگل ھو رھی ھین۔ذھانت کی داد دین۔ [These are being smuggled out of Afghanistan through floods, intelligence must be commended.]”
  • “If I am not wrong it’s Wadi Lajab Saudi Arabia”
  • “سمگلڈ گاڑیاں جس دن باضابطہ قانونی ڈیوٹی پیڈ ہو کر آئینگی انشااللہ جتنا سیلاب کیوں نہ ہو اس طرح نہیں ہوگا !! جائز طریقہ کی آمدنی اور ناجائز طریقے کی آمدنی میں اللّه نے فرق رکھا ہے اور وہ ہے برکت کا۔ [The day when the legal duty on these smuggled vehicles is officially paid, God willing, this will not happen even if there is a flood, God has created a difference between income earned lawfully and unlawfully and that is of blessing.]”
  • “Kohistan area kp”
  • “Florida hay shayad [This is probably Florida]”
  • “I think Karachi hay ye gutter ka pani bohat hota Karachi may [I think this is Karachi, there’s a lot of sewage-filled water in Karachi]”
  • “This is an old video clip of some place in Saudi Arabia”
  • “This is Oman massqat old vedio clip”

Fact or Fiction?

The SUVs seen in the video are, in fact, Toyota Land Cruisers with rear-fitted spare tyres.

A reverse image search on Google and TinEye using a screenshot from the viral clip led us to articles published by Arabic news outlets The National, Gulf News, and Akhbaar24 from September 2020 about flash floods in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to these reports, flash floods in Sharjah in 2020 swept away four SUVs with at least five people inside. The National quoted the Sharjah Police saying, “The forcefully rushing waters of the valley [Wadi Shees] swept their vehicles away.”

The National also posted the video on its verified Twitter account.

A Twitter user had posted a news clipping from Arabic-language Al Khaleej about the same incident as well. It was titled, “نجاة أربعة شباب جرف وادي شيص مركباتهم [Four young men survived, whose vehicles were swept away by Wadi Shees].”

Virality

Soch Fact Check found that apart from Khan’s reel, two other Facebook pages — ‘Hazara Times’ and ‘Ghizer24’ — had also shared the video.

Before this, the video also surfaced on Twitter here and here, with the claim that it depicted Hurricane Shaheen that lashed the coast of Oman in 2021. Factly investigated the claim at the time.

Conclusion: The video is, in fact, from September 2020 when flash floods hit Sharjah and several vehicles were swept away in the Wadi Shees.

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Karyn Zaremba
Karyn Zaremba
1 year ago

I stated I did not know where this was located. I am a senior and do not have the research skills of your fact checkers. Nor did I state anything about when this occurred. It is an amazing video regardless of when or where. I don’t see how it could result in punishment by FB ?

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