HealthNatural Disaster

Uttarakhand’s Chamoli cloudburst image falsely claimed as Kishtwar cloudburst

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An image of a muddy water overflowing a residential area damaging the road has been circulated on social media with a false claim that the cloud burst had occurred in Jammu’s Kishtwar region. The cloudburst in the remote village of Kishtwar occurred on July 28. Seven people have died and at least 20 are reported missing after a cloudburst in a remote village in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Several structures, including eight homes, were swept away by flash floods after heavy rain and cloudburst in the mountainous region of Chenab Valley. Amid this, the social media was flooded with various pictures of the cloudburst. Out of all pictures, one picture has been falsely claimed as the one from Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The viral image has been misleadingly used with a caption ” 40 People Reportedly #Missing After Cloudburst In #Kishtwar. A cloud burst has occured in village Honjar Dacchan in Kistwar district of Jammu. Reportedly 40 people are missing. Rescue operation Underway. As per latest reports, 4 #dead #bodies have been recovered* in Honzar cloudburst in Dachan, Kishtwar. Further details awaited“. Few similar posts excessively shared on various social media platforms can be seen below-


We also found a news report by Pratidin Time that used the similar image while reporting about cloudburst in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Cloudburst In J&K, Himachal; Over 40 Missing.


The viral picture is from Uttarakhand’s cloudburst that had hit Chamoli district in 2016 

While searching more about the viral picture, we ran this image in reverse google image search and a few news reports that claimed that the cloudburst happened in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district in 2016.

First news report was reported by India Today on 1st July 2016- Uttarakhand: 30 feared dead in cloudburst; Chamoli, Pithoragarh worst hit. According to the India Today’s report, the cloudburst in Chamoli washed away houses in Gopeshwar on the banks of river Mandakini. Nine people have been reported dead in Chamoli district out of which two people were flown away in the high current of a ‘barsati nala’ in Gopeshwar’s Siro village. Many other houses are also reported to be in danger.

Also, we did keyword search on twitter and found a similar tweet by ANI on 1st July 2016 with a caption- “River Alaknanda rises above the danger level mark after a cloudburst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand”

We also found a news report by DNA- Rain-triggered landslide, floods in Uttarakhand kill 11; 17 missing. According to the DNA report, officials said that in Pithoragarh, eight people were killed in the landslide and eleven are missing while in Chamoli, three are dead and six are missing. Following the news of casualties, Chief Minister Harish Rawat announced an ex gratia amount of Rs2 lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives. The DNA report has used the viral image which proves that the images been falsely linked with the cloudburst that happened in Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir.


We also found The Quint’s report on the same incident that was reported on 4 July, 2016. The news report has used the similar picture that went viral with a false claim. Uttarakhand Cloudburst: Death Toll Rises to 18. According to this report, Chief Minister Harish Rawat announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the victims.


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Shriya Handoo

MA- Journalism student at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications.