False

A Video of a Heavy Hailstorm that occurred in Nepal Goes Viral as an incident from India and Vietnam.


A video of a heavy hailstorm is doing rounds on social media. The viral video shows golf ball-sized hail falling in the field as if someone is bombing the area. These unusual visuals of the video are attracting netizens across the globe.

But the users and media both are clueless about the location of this video. Some are sharing it from India and others are claiming it is from Vietnam.

Upon a thorough investigation, Fact Crescendo has successfully located the source viral video. It is neither from India nor Vietnam. It is actually, from Nepal.

WHAT ARE THE CLAIMS?

An IAS officer Awanish Sharan tweeted the following video on 26th April claiming it was recorded on that day at Pendra village of Chhattisgarh. Sharan is the collector of Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district in India.  

Archive

Many people have responded to the above tweet with the claim that the viral video is actually from Vietnam. A Twitter account by the name of Kaptan Hindustan had shared this video two days before Mr. Sharan on 24 thApril. He claimed it was from Cao Bang, Vietnam.

Archive

THE INVESTIGATION

When Fact Crescendo began searching about this video, we came across various claims about this video.

The same video is available on a popular website 9-GAG (Archive) as being from Cao Bang, Vietnam. It is also available on YouTube with the same claim.

Times of India’s Tamil website Samayam  (Archive) has shared this video with the caption: A man from Chhattisgarh has tweeted the sight of hail falling in the rain water. (Google Translation) 

News18 did a fact-check on this video. They concluded that it was from Vietnam. Another website The News Villa (Archive) also published the fact-check coming to the same conclusion. But none of them could provide any conclusive evidence apart from earlier-date YouTube videos. 

News18 | Archive

We found that the same video was shared in the names of different states of India as well. 

A senior ANI journalist tweeted (Archive) this video claiming it was from Tripura. A news portal Guwahati Times telecasted it as images from Nagaland. Many YouTube videos said it is from Arunachal Pradesh.

As you can see, we have different claims about the location of this video. Where is it from then? India (Chhatisgarh, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland) or Vietnam?

FACT-CHECK

Through all this investigation, we realized that people are sharing it with different names and descriptions. What makes this video so attractive? The answer is the size of the hail and the sound of it hitting the tin roofs. People have been equating this video to some kind of an attack.

We also noticed that all these videos began to flood the internet after 22nd April. 

Keeping it in mind, we searched the videos with key-words related to the size of hail. We also focused on the videos uploaded before 22nd April. After going through hundreds of videos and trying different keywords, we came across a YouTube video uploaded on 19th April.  It is titled as CRAZY GOLFBALL SIZED HAIL STORM. It has only 42 views. 

A watermark (@diwakarbartaula) can be seen in the video. It indicates that it must have taken from TikTok. And so it was!

We found that the TikTok account belongs to one Diwakar Bartaula. He has uploaded this video on 18th April. In the caption of this video, he wrote in Nepali that “Today’s hailstorm looks like the big gun is firing in PUBG”. He also used a hashtag “#chitwan_muser”. Chitwan is a district in Nepal. 

@diwakarbartaula

Aaj ko Asina pubg ma vanda badi gun chalya jasto..😭😭##makethisviral ##tiktoknepal ##goviral ##chitwan_muser

♬ original sound – Diwakar Bartaula

See the original video here – TikTok 

With the above clues, we limited our research scope to Nepal. Using Nepali keywords, we found videos claiming it from Chitwan, Nepal.

But how can we ascertain the location of this video?

As we know that the video on Diwakar Bartaula’s TikTok account is the earliest possible (18th April) video available on the internet, it is important to contact him.

By tapping several friends and relatives of Diwakar Bartaula on Facebook for a couple of days, we were able to communicate with him.

He claimed that this video was shot by him on 18th April at Gadauli village.

An avid PUBG enthusiast Mr. Bartaula told us, “The viral video belongs to me. I had shot it on my mobile phone. The rice field you see in it is my farm in Gahauli village. On 18th April, our village was hit by a heavy hailstorm. After filming the video I have uploaded it on my TikTiok account.”

In order to establish the authenticity of his claim, we asked him to send us the video from the same location as shown in the viral video. He did send us such a video. 

You can see the same poles, the rice field, and the trees in the background. The tin-roof can be seen at the end of the video. The hail was hitting the tin roof in the viral video which can be heard. 

Diwakar’s friends and Gadauli village community Facebook page also corroborated Mr. Bartaula’s claim that the video is from their village. We also found a news report about the hailstorm in the area on 18th April. It further strengthens our investigation. 

THE CONCLUSION

Fact Crescendo was able to find the person who had shot the viral video of a heavy hailstorm. With the evidence obtained from him, we successfully found the location  where the video was filmed.  

The viral video is from Gahauli village in Nepal. It was shot by Diwakar Bartaula on 18th April.

Hence, the claim that the video is from India or Vietnam is false.

Title:A Video of a Heavy Hailstorm that occurred in Nepal Goes Viral as an incident from India and Vietnam.

Fact Check By: Mayur Deokar

Result: False


Mayur Deokar

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