These photos show deadly flooding in China in 2021, not 2022

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

Images of flooded city streets have been shared hundreds of times in Facebook posts that claim they show flooding in China in July 2022. However, the claim is misleading. The pictures circulated previously in social media posts and reports about a flood that hit Zhengzhou in central China in July 2021. 

 "China today #July 21," reads a Burmese-language Facebook post from July 21, 2022 shared more than 150 times. 

Screenshot taken of the misleading post, taken on August 5, 2022

Floods hit parts of the neighbouring Gansu and Sichuan provinces in western China in July 2022, leaving 12 people dead and 12 missing, Chinese-run state newspaper Global Times reported

The photos have been shared more than 50 times after they appeared with a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here

However, the photos have circulated in social media posts and news reports about flooding in the city of Zhengzhou in central Henan province in July 2021.

First photo 

Reverse image and keyword searches on Google found the first photo posted by the UN Climate Change's Twitter account on July 21, 2022. 

The tweet reads: "Dramatic climate impacts continue around the world. Zhengzhou in China has seen the highest daily rainfall since weather records began, receiving the equivalent of 8 months of rain in a single day. #COP26". 

The picture was also tweeted on July 21, 2022 by a journalist at Chinese state-run news organisation Global Times in a thread about the floods in Henan.

The location of the photo corresponds with street view imagery of Zhengzhou from Baidu Maps. 

The catastrophic flooding in Henan, including Zhengzhou, in July 2021 killed 398 people and caused economic losses of more than $10 billion, AFP reported

Below is a screenshot comparison of the first photo in the misleading post (right) and the photo tweeted by the UN Climate Change (left): 

Screenshot comparison of the first photo in the misleading post (right) and the photo tweeted by the UN Climate Change (left)

Second photo

A reverse image search on Google found the second photo published by Getty Images photo agency on July 20, 2021. 

The photo's caption reads: "Vehicles are stranded in floodwater near Zhengzhou Railway Station on July 20, 2021 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China. Torrential rains hit Henan since July 16, causing floods in many parts of the province on Monday and Tuesday."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the second photo in the misleading post (left) and  theGetty Images photo (right): 

Screenshot comparison of the second photo in the misleading post (left) and the genuine Getty Images photo (right)

Third photo 

The third photo was published by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua in an article from July 21, 2021 about the Henan floods.

The photo's caption reads: "Danger signs are installed on a waterlogged road in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, July 20, 2021." 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the third photo in the misleading post (left) and the genuine Xinhua photo (right): 

Screenshot comparison of the third photo in the misleading post (left) and the genuine Xinhua photo (right)

Fourth photo 

A reverse image search on Google found the fourth photo published by Hong Kong news outlet HK01 on July 21, 2021. 

The Chinese-language report is headlined: "Photos: Henan's once-in-a-millennium torrential rain paralyzes land and air traffic and floods Zhengzhou." 

Translated to English, the photo's caption says: "The roads and the cars were submerged in water." 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the fourth photo in the misleading post (left) and the genuine photo from HK01 (right): 

Screenshot comparison of the fourth photo in the misleading post (left) and the genuine photo from HK01 (right)