FACT CHECK: 2011 Video of Tsunami in Japan Shared as Recent Karachi Floods…

False International

Burevi was the recent cyclone that hit the Indian Subcontinent which was still recuperating from the effects of Cyclone Nivar. Cyclone Burevi entered the shores of Sri Lanka on 2nd December night and there were widespread media alerts on the potential dangers of heavy rainfalls, gale winds and possibility of floods. 

In this context, a video showing massive flooding, purported be from Karachi in Pakistan is being shared widely among social media users in Sri Lanka and abroad. However, our investigations reveal that the flooding was associated with the Tsunami that hit the shores of Japan in 2011.

Social Media Posts:

A 3 minute video was posted on a Facebook user මහනුවර දිනවන දඹේ with a caption in Sinhalese “පකිස්ථාන කරච්චියේ (Karachi in Pakistan), showing massive water bodies engulfing city streets, as seen below.

FacebookArchived Link

This video, uploaded on 1st December has been shared over thousand times now and had superimposed text “Karachi Pakistan Today” as seen below.

These claims originated outside Sri Lanka as seen here and since then they have gathered great interest among locals as you can see here and here.

However, a clear giveaway is the language being spoken in the video, which resembles Japanese.

Fact Check 

Reverse image searches of key frames extracted from the video revealed that the footage was associated with the Tsunami that hit Japan’s Ishinomaki city of Miyagi prefecture. 

A longer version of the video is seen here with the caption “TSUNAMI JAPAN 3.11/2011” The English description of the video goes on to state that this is “Ishinomaki-shi Tidal wave” eastern Japan great earthquake A picture in Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi..” 

Upon further investigations we came across FNN website which had published an article captioned “Remembering 3/11” dedicated to the 2011 earthquake. This article contains information regarding this natural calamity. Article goes on to state that Mr. Koichi Abe had recorded this video on 11th March 2011 from the rooftop of his office in Ishinomaki. YouTube Video 

C:\Users\Prabuddha Athukorala\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\screenshot-www.fnn.jp-2020.12.03-10_43_02.png

Link | Archived

A comparison of key frames of the viral video claiming to be Karachi in Pakistan and Japanese Tsunami videos on YouTube confirmed that both are from same event, as seen below.

We also came across a number of fact checks associated with this video, which were done on false claims relating to these scenes to recent floods in China. Here is a fact check done by Factcrescendo English  

Below is a BBC report on Karachi floods, which devastated the city, back in August 2020.

A number of old and unrelated content related to natural calamities started circulating among Sri Lankan public, after cyclone Burevi received widespread attention. Here is a recent investigation we did in Sinhala about a 4-year-old video of a funnel storm being shared as a tornado situation due to cyclone Burevi.


Our investigation reveals that the viral footages claiming to be a recent incident of sea waves engulfing city of Karachi in Pakistan is false. These scenes are associated with the Tsunami that hit Japan’s Ishinomaki city of Miyagi prefecture in 2011.

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Title:2011 Video of Tsunami in Japan Shared as Recent Karachi Floods…

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False

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