As India battles a global pandemic, with the highest single-day surge of confirmed cases on Sunday, fake news, which is ever-present in your WhatsApp forwards, still continued to spread.
On Saturday night and Sunday, parts of North-India received heavy rail-fall, with it also affecting crop season in several rural areas.
A video claiming to be from the storm started going viral shortly after. Claiming to be from Pendra in Chhattisgarh, the video showed hailstorms in a field, producing the same visual effect as someone tossing stones into a body of water.
The video which went viral on WhatsApp was shared on Twitter by an IAS officer, who is currently posted in Kabirdham in Chhattisgarh.
Some were left really amused by the video.
Whatt.. ! At first look it seemed like someone is firing into the water!
Is this normal??
— Pankhuri Pathak पंखुड़ी पाठक پنکھڑی (@pankhuripathak) April 26, 2020
However, the video is fake. Dating from a few days ago, the video was uploaded on YouTube on April 23rd, four days before India’s hail storm. The video tags the location as Cao Bang in Vietnam. It was also shared on Twitter by a different user with the same location, much before India’s storm.
The video source of the clip is on YouTube, posted on 23 April, and described as “This was captured early morning 23/04/2020 in Cao Bang Vietnam, there were several reports of similar incident in nearby cities.”
This wasn’t the only video with matching footage. A different video uploaded on YouTube on April 26 by a travel channel, showing ‘Hail in Cao Bang,’ with 8-hour long footage of the after-math of hail in the area, included a clip of the viral video in that footage.
A local Vietnamese publication also reported on the story on April 24th, showing a clip of the video.
While whether the exact date of the video shot in Vietnam is still uncertain, it was certainly before it was the bad weather in northern India, and is certainly not from Chhattisgarh.