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This Video Features 2016 Floods in Saudi Arabia, Not Libya’s Recent Floods

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
16th September 2023
This Video Features 2016 Floods in Saudi Arabia, Not Libya’s Recent Floods
The video shows floods in Saudi Arabia, not Libya (Twitter)

The Claim

A video shows the damage from Libya's recent floods.

Emerging story

Following the recent floods in Libya, social media users widely circulated a video clip purporting to feature the moment floods ravaged Derna in Libya.

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the footage and found the claim to be misleading.

A comprehensive reverse image search revealed the video making the rounds to be outdated and unrelated to Libya.

The Video Shows Old Floods in Saudi Arabia, Not Libya

Contrary to the claim, the video features a torrent of Wadi Alfarsha in Tihama Qahtan, Saudi Arabia. The video dates back to April 2016.

An Arabic Facebook page published the video on April 8, 2016, under the translated caption, "Watch.. The torrent of Wadi Al-Farsha in Tihama Qahtan blocks the road for citizens."

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A screenshot of the original video (Facebook)

A YouTube channel also uploaded the video in question on the same date. The video’s translated title reads, “Asir - Wadi Al-Farsha flooded in Tihama Qahtan yesterday, Thursday.”

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A screenshot of the original video (YouTube)

Severe Floods Claim Over 11,000 Lives in Libya

On Friday, Libyan authorities limited access to the flooded city of Derna. This move aimed to facilitate search and rescue operations, particularly sifting through the mud and damaged buildings, in hopes of locating more than 10,000 individuals who remain unaccounted for and are presumed to have lost their lives in a disaster that has already claimed over 11,000 lives.

The staggering death toll is at risk of further escalation due to the potential spread of waterborne diseases and the displacement of explosive ordnance that was swept up when two dams collapsed on Monday, resulting in a deluge of water surging through the city. Officials have issued warnings regarding this ongoing threat.

As reported by the Libyan Red Crescent, the death toll from the flooding in Derna reached 11,300 by Thursday, with an additional 10,100 individuals reported as missing, though the prospects of finding many of them alive remain grim, according to the aid group. The storm also resulted in approximately 170 casualties in other parts of the country.

Aid organizations have urged authorities to grant them access to the city to enable the distribution of urgently needed provisions such as food, clean water, and medical supplies to survivors. However, four days into the crisis, it is evident that there is a lack of centralized coordination, with some areas of Derna receiving assistance while others are left to fend for themselves.

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