Video of 2011 Tsunami in Japan Goes Viral As Recent Floods in China

False International

A video showing a massive flood engulfing the city roads have been doing rounds on social media. Many users are claiming that this video is of the recent flood situation in China. Some even took this as an opportunity to express their anger towards China by saying that it is Nature’s revenge on China for coronavirus. 

Fact Crescendo’s investigation revealed that the video is not from China. It is a 2011 tsunami video from Japan.

What’s the Claim?

The viral video begins with a footage of the waves rushing in on the road. The flow seems to be slow at the start but quickly transforms into a rapid current. The water overflows into the parking lot and then washes away all cars in the lot. We can see people trapped on the rooftop from where this video was taken. 

Many users share the video with the caption that reads: “China’s three gorges dam faces severe flooding as Yangtze overflows, Yangtze River Flood In Streets 3 Bridges Collapsed In this flood.”


Another user shared the video by claiming, “3 big dams of china got washed away. Nature teach lesson to Greedy country. #ChinaFloods2020”



At the onset, we found that China has been receiving huge rains since June. According to a BBC report, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is nearing capacity after weeks of record floods in China. The floods have killed hundreds of people and hundreds of thousands have been evacuated.

Then we move ahead to verify the location of those viral videos. Google reverse image search on the key-frames of the video showed us that this video is available on the internet for quite some years. 

Sifting through various links, we came to a video on YouTube that has been uploaded back in 2012. Japanese news services Fuji News Network (FNN) had shared this video on their official YouTube account. 

According to information provided with it, the video was recorded during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. It shows the tsunami surging in a Japanese city Ishinomaki in Minato district. 

On 11th March 2011, a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.1  triggered powerful tsunami waves on the east coast of Japan. The tsunami killed over ten thousand people.

On further research, we found a special website created by FNN – Remembering 3/11 – dedicated to the 2011 earthquake that documents every information regarding this natural calamity. 

According to the information available on it, Mr. Koichi Abe had recorded this video on 11th March 2011 from the rooftop of his office in Ishinomaki. Approximately 35 people were evacuated to this rooftop.

Using Google Maps, we found the exact spot (the rooftop) from where this video was taken. You can see it in the below screenshot. At some point in the video, we can see three pale blue cylinders of a factory. Those cylinders have been located in the following map.

See original map- Google Maps


Hence, it is proved that the viral video of waves rushing in the city is neither from China nor does it show the recent flood situation there. It was recorded during the 2011 tsunami in Japan.


Title:Video of 2011 Tsunami in Japan Goes Viral As Recent Floods in China

Fact Check By: Mayur Deokar 

Result: False