Viral video depicting submarine in Karachi’s flooded streets proven false


Claim: Pakistan Navy submarine seen in flooded streets of Karachi to rescue residents

Fact: The video and image showing a submarine in Karachi’s streets were both doctored.

On August 30, after the urban flooding that occurred in Karachi, a doctored video was shared by an Indian account showing a submarine traversing through Nagan Chaowarangi, a major artery in the city. The video depicted a panoramic view of the flooded street, showing army vehicles rescuing people while a submarine crossed it from one end to the other.

The caption of the tweet, hashtagged ‘#Breaking,’ claimed that a Pakistan Navy submarine was spotted in Karachi, after it ‘surfaced from a gutter after 49 years’. A number of Twitter users reposted the video jokingly, while some posed questions asking whether it was true.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. The submarine was edited onto the original video (0:50 – 1:10) by a graphic designer named Saqib Malik. He told Soch Fact Check that he edited it just for fun and uploaded a time-lapse of his editing process on his Facebook account, found here.

Current condition at nagan chowrangi.

Saqib Malik ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶನಿವಾರ, ಆಗಸ್ಟ್ 29, 2020

The edited video was also shown on Al Jazeera Weather by the forecaster.

Another picture showing a submarine in a narrow street in Karachi is also being circulated on Twitter. Some users shared it saying that the submarine was sent by the Sindh Government to rescue Karachi’s residents from the flooded areas. These claims are also false because the average depth required for a submarine to be fully submerged is 300-400 meters i.e 30,000-40,000 cm, whereas the maximum depth of flooded water on Karachi’s streets was 12.5cm. Moreover, the smallest official submarine owned by Pakistan is the Cosmos Class MG110 submarine that requires two drivers and houses six personnel. Its hull diameter is 5.59 meters, requiring the depth of the water to be at least 230cm deep for it to function. Furthermore, the Pakistan Navy has also made no official statement about any submarines being released onto the streets of Karachi for relief efforts or otherwise. Finally, the picture in question shows a clear inconsistency in the saturation of the background of the image and the submarine itself. The submarine also does not follow the course of its shape and abruptly cuts off, as circled in the image below. This evidence proves that the image being circulated on Twitter is doctored.

Summary: Image and video of a submarine shown in Karachi’s streets during urban flooding is doctored. The average depth of water required for a submarine to function greatly exceeds the depth of water on Karachi’s streets during urban flooding.

Research Associate: Ammar Zardari

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