Photo showing 2018 landslide in Peru misrepresented as Kenyan disaster in 2024

Consistently heavy rainfall in Kenya since March has caused landslides in various regions, leading to the loss of lives and the displacement of local residents. In early May, a mudslide in Kenya's Rift Valley region, west of Nairobi, killed two people. An image purporting to show the disaster has circulated online, but the context is false: the picture is a screenshot from a clip showing a 2018 landslide in Cusco, Peru.

A post claiming to show the aftermath of a landslide in Kenya has been shared more than 50 times since it was published on X on May 7, 2024.

“Developing story Elgeyo Marakwet landslide,” reads the post’s caption.

Screenshot showing the false post, taken on May 23, 2024

The aerial photo shows a large landmass sheared off from a hillside, with homesteads and farmland below.

The claim was also shared elsewhere on X (here and here) and Facebook (here and here).

For many years, the county of Elgeyo Marakwet has been facing severe landslides said to be caused by unchecked human activities in Kerio Valley – about 350 kilometres west of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Residents have invaded restricted areas for farming, leading to the ecosystem's fragility (archived here).

Meanwhile, the heavy rains that continue to lash parts of Kenya have caused wetlands to collapse. The death toll from the ongoing rains is more than 200, according to government data (archived here).

But the image shared on social media does not show a landslide in Kenya.

Photo from Peru

Through a reverse image search, we found a video posted on X by the Peru Ministry of Defense on March 24, 2018.  

The post, written in Spanish, translates to: “We were in Lutto Kututo, a community at more than 3,500 metres above sea level in #Cusco, delivering humanitarian aid, tools, and belongings to the population affected by landslides.”

According to the post, the clip shows a landslide in the Cusco region of Peru.

The false posts have used a screenshot from the video.

A side-by-side comparison of the image from the post and a screenshot from the clip shared on X

In March 2018, a major landslide occurred in Peru's Cusco region, leading to extensive damage to homes, roads, and fields. Subsequently, the government declared a state of emergency in the affected area (archived here).

AFP Fact Check has debunked similar claims about the recent landslides and floods here and here.

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