Videos of the old earthquakes and floods are erroneously presented as recent from Japan

Old 2011 flood videos are shared as recent from Japan.


Claim 1

Please support and pray for Japan

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Claim 2

Is this the real footage of Japan’s Current Tsunami? The scenes are very harsh coming from Japan’s Current Tsunami. Please pray for the Japanese.

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Claim 3

Footage: Japan 7.2 magnitude earthquake seen underwater.

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Claim 4

Watch as a 7.6 magnitude earthquake on a Richter scale hits a hospital in Japan sending the nurses In a panic. Keep the people of Japan safe and in your prayers.

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Claim 5

“Tsunami in Japan | Stay safe and informed. #JapanTsunami #StaySafe #EmergencyResponse #NaturalDisaster

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Claim 6

Good morning… nature can become a natural disaster. May god protect everyone. #Tsunami #JapanEarthquake #RoseBowl2024 #Japan

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Claim 7

If you stand with the people of Japan, during this tough time in which they are experiencing a Tsunami and earthquake; U won’t pass without liking this tweet. May God protect the children mothers & people of Japan from the Tsunami

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On Monday afternoon, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake occurred in central Japan, resulting in the collapse of buildings, fires, and tsunami warnings that reached as far east as eastern Russia. The earthquake also caused residents to be ordered to evacuate the affected coastal areas of Japan.

Meanwhile, a plethora of images, videos, and other visuals have appeared on the internet, implying to be from Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami. You can view related posts with similar claims here, here, and here.

What’s the truth?

Fact-Check 1

The video, which depicts blue baskets and cars being washed away by floods, is from Japan’s 2011 floods, not the current one. Similar images are provided by Prude Engineering, a YouTube channel that describes how researchers analyzed past tsunami data along Japan’s Tohoku region’s Pacific coast and discovered that while coastal forests are crucial for public safety, seawalls higher than five meters also reduce damage and fatalities. The viral video portion appears around the timestamp of 0:07 seconds in this video. This confirms that the footage of cars with blue baskets floating around is from the Japanese floods of 2011.

Fact-Check 2

In the video, vehicles are seen being swept away by the floodwaters as they rush through the roads, and boats are seen being thrown into the waters around them. While doing a simple Google reverse image process, we found the matching visuals appear on a YouTube channel with the title Disaster Compilations: 2011 Japan Tsunami Compilation.” This confirms the video is old, from 2011, and is falsely shared as recent. 

Fact-Check 3

This footage shows people diving and feeling a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on the bottom of the sea hails from Indonesia’s Banda Sea, not Japan. We obtained the videos that matched from the Indonesian YouTube channel VIVA.CO.ID. The divers’ camera captured the incident while they were in the Banda Sea. The video is from November 2023 and it’s not from Japan.

Fact-Check 4

This video, which is from Gaziantep in Turkey, shows an earthquake striking a hospital and the nurses getting terrified. By using the viral video’s “TRTWORLD” logo as guidance, we were able to obtain matching, similar visuals from YouTube. The video is outdated and unrelated to the earthquake in Japan.

Fact-check 5

The video, which shows the tsunami rushing through the street and sweeping away the houses, is from the 2011 earthquake and floods in Japan. We discovered this article by Burlington Free Press and carrying the same viral image while breaking down the keyframes of the viral video. This indicates that the video is being misrepresented as being recent.

Fact-Check 6

The scene in the video that depicts a family enjoying breakfast against the backdrop of a snow-covered mountain just before the snow starts to slide is from the film Force Majeure; it has nothing to do with the earthquake that struck Japan. This is the link to the movie’s viral clip.

Fact-Check 7

The picture of cars and other vehicles that have been harmed by the road walls is from the 2011 earthquake in Japan. “Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a car park in Mito city, Japan,” reads an article from the Globe and, along with the same viral photo. This confirms that the widely shared photo is not new and dates back more than 12 years.


Therefore, we conclude that all the viral images and videos are outdated and have nothing to do with Japan’s recent earthquake.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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