Totally fake: the false Cyclone Dineo news you should know about

typhoon eye cyclone dineo fake news

Yes, Cyclone Dineo is an actual storm. Yes, it also made landfall in Mozambique and is tracking in a westerly direction over northern South Africa, southern Mozambique, and southern Zimbabwe. It’s also slowly losing intensity, but is dropping plenty of rain.

While those sentences are all factual, there are some examples of fake news floating around social media today.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s false, what’s absolute nonsense, and what you should do if you encounter any of these online.

Memeburn’s Cyclone Dineo coverage:
Dineo’s dangerous siblings: 4 other cyclones that hit South Africa this century
– Tropical Cyclone Dineo in pictures: devastation captured on Twitter, Instagram

Totally fake: Johannesburg’s Dineo warning is not true

The South African Weather Service has taken to Twitter to quell Johannesburgers’ fears of the storm.

“Rumor going the rounds [sic] about severe weather heading to Gauteng is NOT true,” SAWS wrote.

“NO severe weather expected in Gauteng”.

Severe heavy rain and flood warnings are in effect for much of the eastern Limpopo province and Mpumalanga, but not for Johannesburg or Pretoria. Speaking of eastern Limpopo, this clip was taken at the Kruger National Park a few hours ago (yep, it’s real, and courtesy of eNCA’s Michael Appel):

Totally false: This isn’t a clip of Dineo wrecking a car

This rather terrifying video wasn’t actually snapped in Mozambique this week. While some sources on YouTube suggest that this video was recorded in Pakistan during the country’s recent floods, it was definitely recorded before Cyclone Dineo even formed in the Indian Ocean. The videos are dated as January 2017.

Although we can confirm this, we can’t quite find original video. We can also confirm that yes, that is a Toyota being swallowed by a torrent of muddy water, but not a torrent created by Dineo.

Totally false: Nope, this isn’t a video of Dineo blowing away cars

This was a pretty easy one to track down. Although the footage itself is totally real, it isn’t a clip of Cyclone Dineo.

Instead, December 2016’s Cyclone Vardah is responsible for flipping this car, which was parked in Chennai. The cyclone, which was eloquently labelled “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Vardah” boasted sustained winds of 140km/h.

It ravaged much of the Asian subcontinent, but nope, it didn’t come anywhere near Mozambique.

Totally false: This isn’t an image of Cyclone Dineo in Maputo either

Whenever a major storm is twirling its away around the world, this image seems to rear its head on social media.

The remarkable snap, which is accredited to Slovenian landscape photographer Marko Korošec. A quick reverse image search shows just how often this image appears on the internet.

And nope, it was nowhere near Mozambique. Instead, it was snapped in Texas in 2013.

Totally false: this is reportedly Mozambique, but not 2017’s Dineo

Here’s an interesting one. One DeviantArt users claims that this image was reportedly taken in Mozambique, but not in 2017. It was originally uploaded to the digital art site in 2014.

“It happened suddenly. That day was an awful storm, after there were no electricity [sic],” photographer duzetdaram (Maritza Andrade) writes.

We’d like to understand the circumstances behind the image, so we’ve reached out to Maritza for further comment and will update accordingly.

But one thing we can definitely confirm though: this isn’t an image of 2017’s Cyclone Dineo rolling into Maputo.

Update: In correspondence with Maritza Andrade, she confirmed that this definitely isn’t an image of Dineo, but she also revealed that she’s not the original source.

Do you have any images, videos or news bits you believe to be questionable, false or completely fake? Pop it through to us via Twitter or Facebook.

Additionally, read our list of tips for spotting fake news, images and videos.

Andy Walker, former editor


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