This video shows a tsunami crashing into a city in Japan in 2011

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A video of water rushing down a street has been shared thousands of times on Facebook alongside a claim that it shows flooding in China. The claim is false; the video shows a tsunami that hit Japan’s Miyagi prefecture in 2011. 

The three-minute 47-second clip was published here on Facebook on August 26, 2020. It has been viewed more than 15,000 times. 

(Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post)

The post’s caption reads: “Flood in China”.

The video was also shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here.

However, the claim is false.

Reverse image and keyword searches on Google found that the footage in fact shows a tsunami that hit Japan’s Miyagi prefecture in 2011. A longer version of the video was published here on YouTube on December 18, 2011. 

The Japanese caption translates to English as: “Ishinomaki city Tsunami TSUNAMI JAPAN 3.11/2011”. 

The video’s English caption reads: “‘Ishinomaki-shi Tidal wave’ eastern Japan great earthquake  A picture in Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi. I suggest you be rubbed by such tidal wave, it can't be done. I take a picture from a roof of Ishinomaki gas. 2-3-48, Myojincho, Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi”. 

The tsunami swept through much of Japan’s northeastern shoreline after a powerful earthquake struck the seabed off Miyagi on March 11, 2011. The disaster killed almost 16,000 people with more than 2,500 still missing, AFP reported here

Below is a side-by-side screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading post (L) and the YouTube video (R):

AFP also covered the 2011 devastation in Ishinomaki in a video report here

Other false claims about the video shared in the misleading posts have previously been debunked by AFP. Those claims wrongly stated that the footage showed the collapse of a hydropower dam in Laos in 2020; flooding during Typhoon Hagibis in 2019; and a tsunami in Indonesia in 2018.