A video of a sandstorm taken from sea is being shared with a false claim that it shows the Biparjoy cyclone approaching Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan. BOOM found that the claims are false, and the video is of a recent sandstorm in Egypt.
The government of Gujarat has evacuated more than 47,000 people following warnings by the Indian Meteorological Department about the Biparjoy cyclone. Expected to make landfall at 5pm in Gujarat on Thursday, the cyclone is also likely to affect the neighbouring region in Pakistan.
The first clip shows a huge wall of sand formed at sea and the second shows the sandstorm engulfing a ship. The video is being shared with the caption, "Scenes of the storm moving towards the coastal areas of Karachi."
The post is also circulating on Facebook with a similar caption.
BOOM found that the videos are from a recent sandstorm in Egypt that occurred on June 1, 2023.
A reverse image search of the first clip on Google led us to a TikTok video with uploaded on June 6 that carried the same visuals.
Click here to view.
The video was captioned, "Sandstorm in Egypt this june 1st"
(Original text in Spanish: "Tormenta de arena en egipto este 1 de junio")
Using this information, we looked for videos of a recent sandstorm in Egypt and found a video by BBC from June 2. The story was titled 'Huge sandstorm sweeps across Suez Canal in Egypt' and carried visuals similar to our first clip.
Click here to view.
According to the report, parts of Egypt had been hit by clouds of dust and sand, including this video which was taken at the Suez Canal. Two ports had been shut down following the severity of the sandstorm. In Cairo, one person died, and five others suffered injuries following a billboard collapse.
A similar video was shared by CNN's YouTube channel on June 3. Watch here.
As for the second clip with the ship being engulfed by the sandstorm, we found several videos on social media uploaded around the same time as the first clip.
This video by Disaster Compilations titled 'HUGE Dust Storm Hits Suez Canal, Egypt - Jun. 1, 2023 عاصفة ترابية بقناة السويس' was uploaded on June 7 and carries the exact same video. The second clip begins at the 0:07 mark.
Here is a comparison between the YouTube videos and our viral clip.
While BOOM could not independently verify the time and location of the clip, it has been shared widely on social media weeks before cyclone Biparjoy occurred.
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