A photo shows a town in Florida, which was devastated by Hurricane Ian, raising the Ukrainian flag. The claim alleges that the flag was displayed in hope of convincing the U.S. Congress to send aids.
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A photo purporting to show a Florida town devastated by Hurricane Ian raising the Ukrainian flag, has gone viral on social media and media outlets. The claim alleges that the flag was displayed in hope of convincing the U.S. Congress to send aid.
Misbar investigated the circulating photo and found it to be satirical.
After conducting a thorough reverse image search, Misbar discovered that the Ukrainian flag in the photo is digitally altered.
The original image does not show the Ukrainian flag amid the ravaged town in Florida, as can be seen below.
2019 Image of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas
Misbar’ investigation revealed that the photo was unrelated to the recent Hurricane Ian that hit Florida. The photo shows Hurricane Dorian that hit the Bahamas on September 1, 2019.
The original image was first published on October 3, 2019, by a website called Haultail, under the title, "After Hurricane Dorian, the ‘Wikipedia of Maps’ Came to the Rescue."
No Ukrainian flag is seen in the original image.
Who First Published the Altered Image?
The altered image was first published on October 4, 2022, by a satirical website called the Babylon Bee, known for its parody content.
The Babylon Bee is a conservative Christian news satire website that posts satirical articles on a variety of subjects, such as politics, religion, current events, and popular figures.
The website bio asserts that it is a "Source For Christian News Satire" and "a fake news [website] you can trust."
The website adopts the tone and style of a traditional news publication. That is why many internet users might be misled by their content.
Hurricane Ian Hit Florida
Hurricane Ian killed at least 109 individuals in the United States, with 105 of the fatalities occurring in Florida and 55 in Lee County.
Many Floridians have found themselves homeless. Hundreds of thousands of people were without electricity, and some island community residents were cut off from the mainland.
According to the website “PowerOutage.us,” over 400,573 customers in Florida were left without electricity.
According to newly released information from modeling firm RMS, Hurricane Ian probably caused insured losses of between $53 billion and $74 billion from Florida to the Carolina, with a "best estimate of $67 billion.”