Misleading: This video does not show China’s Three Gorges Dam collapsing
A video showing what appears to be a mountain landslide has been shared widely and viewed more than 450,000 times on Twitter (also here and here) since Sunday.
The post comes with a false claim that the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam and the biggest hydroelectric power station on the Yangtze River, in Hubei, China, began collapsing.
The controversial dam supplies power to middle, eastern and southern China in an area covering 10 provinces including Chongqing, Jiangsu, and Guangdong.
The Epoch Times, a media outlet affiliated with Falun Gong, used the video in its Youtube news program on Tuesday and quoted Twitter users’ reactions such as “the dam could entirely collapse in two years time,” and “if that happens, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai will face tragic consequences.” It’s been watched more than 160,000 times since then.
Such claims are unfounded.
Through a reverse image search, Annie Lab quickly identified the original footage captured by Swiss Broadcasting included in a CNN report.
The incident in the video actually took place on May 14, 2012, near the village of Preonzo in southern Switzerland.
According to American Surveyors Magazine, the dramatic video shows some 300,000 cubic meters of rock crashing 1,000 meters down to the valley floor.
Other media organizations including Reuters and the Daily Mail also published an image from the Swiss Broadcasting footage to report the news.