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Fact Check: 2018 Video Of Hailstorm From Chitwan Resurfaces As Recent Rainfall In Nawalparasi

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Video shows recent heavy rain and hailstorm in Nawalparasi district
Fact
The viral video was captured three years ago in Gadeuli of Chitwan  

At a time when most districts in southern plains are reeling under unusual mid-monsoon drought, a one-minute-11-second video allegedly showing recent heavy rain and hailstorm lashing Nawalparasi district is going viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @xotuxingh2 posted a video showing heavy rain accompanied by large chunks of hailstones lashing a field. Text superimposed on the video reads, “This happened today in Nawalparasi.” The first part of the footage shows water splashes due to the bombardment of hailstones. Another clip shows young kids picking ice cubes from the ground and throwing into a pile of stones. The third footage shows heavy rain with hailstones. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on August 1 has garnered 41.4k likes, 3048 users have shared it and 467 people have commented until the time of publishing this article.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on the frames from the first footage showing hailstones bombarding a field. A search on a frame threw up several results matching the viral video. On checking a video, dated 24 April, 2020, published on a YouTube channel named Saikyou Hero. The one-minute video titled ‘Severe hailstorm destroys paddy field’ exactly matched the first footage of the viral video.

On further investigation, we found an exactly similar video published on Daily motion online. The video titled ‘Huge hail landing in flooded field’ was posted on April 19, 2020, and the description confirmed that the video was from Chitwan in Nepal.

As we found that the video had gone viral in the past with different claims, we conducted a search on YouTube by using keywords “Chitwan Hailstorm” and the search led us to a longer video published on a YouTube channel named ‘Ho Nepali Ho’.

The video, dated 30 April, 2020, contained another footage shot at the same location showing a little grown and greener paddy plants, along with the viral clip. The second footage showed the exact location of the viral video, while a person identifying himself as Diwakar Bartaula is heard speaking in the background. “Namaste! My name is Diwakar Bartaula, this is the exact location where I captured the video that had gone viral on 18 April.” He goes on to say, “This is Gadeuli of Rapti Municipality-2 in Chitwan district, Bagmati Province in Nepal.”

Our findings clearly indicated that a three-year-old footage from Chitwan has been passed off as a recent rainfall and hailstorm in the neighbouring Nawalparasi district.

Conclusion

Thus, the viral video doesn’t show a recent rain and hailstorm in Nawalparasi district of Nepal. It actually shows viral footage of hailstorm bombarding a paddy field in Chitwan from April 2020.

Result: False

Sources
Saikyou Hero /YouTube, 24 April, 2020
Daily Motion, 19 April, 2020
Ho Nepali Ho /YouTube ,30 April, 2020


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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