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HomeEnglishFact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims Powerful Quake Jolted Pokhara

Fact Check: Viral Video Falsely Claims Powerful Quake Jolted Pokhara

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
A powerful earthquake strikes Pokhara, killing a person and collapsing a bridge
Fact
Unrelated footage shared with choppy effect to make a false claim

A 12-second video claiming that a powerful earthquake has jolted Pokhara, killing a person and collapsing a bridge, has gone viral on TikTok. Pokhara is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Kaski district of Gandaki Province, and is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the famous Phewa lake.

TikTok user @nabinneupane93 posted a video showing wobbly footage of a market place. The text superimposed on the video reads, “Again, a big earthquake has struck.” Audio accompanying the clip, in a news bulletin style, says, “There is sad news that a powerful earthquake has rocked Nepal. A person died after falling off a building due to an earthquake, while transportation has come to a halt after a bridge collapsed near Pokhara.”  The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on July 31 has garnered 1948 likes, 49 users have shared it and 60 users 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 looked up the website of the National Earthquake Monitoring Research Centre to check the latest quakes recorded in Nepal.  According to seismonepal.gov.np, the last quake that struck Nepal was on July 19. The magnitude of the quake was measured at 4.0 on the Richter scale with its epicenter in Kaski district.  

Though the headquarters of Kaski district is Pokhara, the quake was not powerful enough to collapse a bridge and shake a building so as to force a man to fall off. 

Further, we checked for news regarding recent earthquakes in Pokhara and the damage caused by the disaster. We found a news article, dated July 19, 2023, published on My Republica online. The news confirmed that a tremor of 4 magnitude struck Pokhara.

Our findings indicate that no powerful quake has struck Pokhara in recent times, causing human casualty or damage to physical infrastructure.

We couldn’t find the original video clip or the location.

Conclusion

No major earthquake has struck Nepal recently, and the viral video claiming that a person died after falling from a building and a bridge collapsed near Pokhara is thus misleading.

Result: False

Sources
Nepal Earthquake Monitoring Centre, 1 August, 2023
My Republica, 19 July, 2023


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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
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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