Old foreign photos being circulated as Nepal wildfire photos
Sanjog Shiwakoti / March 31, 2021
Nepal’s major cities including Kathmandu and Pokhara are blanketed by the smoke from the raging wildfires across the country over the last few days. In the absence of strong winds, the smog remains suspended over the Nepali sky. On March 26, Kathmandu was ranked the world’s most polluted city, by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company. The severe air pollution has forced the government to close schools in many districts including the capital, Kathmandu, for four days. Flights to and from Kathmandu and other airports have been suspended or diverted due to poor visibility.
Social media users have taken to Twitter and Facebook to draw the world’s attention to the disaster. On March 31, #PrayforNepal hashtag trended on Twitter. Social media users have shared various pictures of the wildfires. The photos have been shared here, here on Twitter and here, here on Facebook. But we found that some of these photos are misleading. They were from other countries.
South Asia Check has fact-checked four of the photos circulating on social media.
This photo of a deer fleeing the flames is seventeen years old and from the USA. It was taken on October 28, 2003 in California, according to the American television channel CBS. The channel has credited the photo to the Associated Press, an American news agency.
According to the National Geographic website, this photo of a cow against a fiery background is from the Yosemite National Park in California of the US. The photo was taken on August 24, 2013 by Noah Berger of the European Photo Agency (EPA).
This is a photo taken during a forest fire in Canada in the summer of 2017. According to the Digital Journal, the blaze in British Columbia had caused extensive damage.
According to The Conversation, a network of non-profit media outlets, this photo of the fire is from Indonesia. The digital outlet said the photo was taken by Rony Muharrman for Antara Foto, a photo agency based in Indonesia.
So it is now clear that the social media users shared misleading photos of wildfires from the US, Canada and Indonesia portraying them as Nepal’s photos.
This material is copyrighted but may be used for any purpose by giving due credit to southasiacheck.org.
- Media Quarterly report (Jan-March) on anonymous sources in newspapers
- Fact Check Old foreign photos being circulated as Nepal wildfire photos
- Fact Check TikTok user trimmed video to show Dahal in a bad light
- Fact Check Shashank Koirala significantly understates Nepal’s arable land area
- Fact Check PM’s suggestion of salt water gargle as home remedy for Covid is misleading
- Fact Check Old photo photoshopped to show Indian flag in February 10 demonstration
In Public InterestScientists worldwide in desperate search for COVID-19 drug South Asia Check has gathered insights on the trials and investigations for vaccines and drugs to tr... Read More
- Six things to know for cannabis legalization in Nepal
- Women ministers in Nepal
- Brace yourself for toxic winter air
- Nepal has no technology to test alleged use of oxytocin in fruits and vegetables
- Nepal is among 25 countries that deny women right to pass on citizenship to children independently