A video of a heavy traffic jam in the Naran and Kaghan Valley of Pakistan is viral on social media with false claims that it shows a choked Himachal Pradesh highway.
The video has been shared in the backdrop of a massive rockslide in Himachal's Sangla Valley on July 25 that killed nine tourists and left several injured. News reports showed terrifying visuals of large chunks of rocks breaking off a mountain and rolling down a valley. The video also shows a section of a bridge breaking and plunging into a river after a boulder hits it. However, another video, which is not from India, is going viral online.
The 23-second long viral clip shows an aerial view of an entire valley road choc-a-block with vehicles.
The video has been captioned on Twitter as, "Tourists returning from #HimachalPradesh #Himachal #Kinnaur"
The video is archived here.
Viral on Facebook
BOOM ran a reverse image search with key frames of the video and found several news reports with stated that the visuals show roads of the Naran and Kaghan Valley in Pakistan.
We found the same video uploaded on a news bulletin by Pakistan-based news channel ARY News on YouTube on July 26, 2021 with the title "Heavy Traffic Jam in Naran And Kaghan Valley. Roads Chocked".
We also found a news report which used a screengrab of the video with the article, "Thousands of tourists in troubleat Kaghan Valley"
An article published by The Dawn on July 25 reported about the incident. An excerpt of the article reads: "The Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road, which leads to Kaghan valley en route to Gilgit-Baltistan, remained choked during the first four days of Eidul Azha and the situation on this strategic artery which is in a highly dilapidated condition remained the same on the fifth day." The article also featured tweets containing the viral video.
Daily Times reported quoting a tourist who said it took him 12 hours to travel from Balakot to Naran, a distance that takes around three hours on ordinary days.
Geo-locating the video
Taking cue from this BOOM was able to locate the place with the help of Google maps. The place is located at Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad-Chilas Road in Sat Bani, Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. A clear view can be seen on Google Earth here.
Below is a comparison.
According to a Pakistani travel website, Naran and Kaghan are the two magnificent valleys located in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and around 285 kilometers from Islamabad.
Additional reporting by Sujith A
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