Fact Check: Sikkim avalanche video is viral with misleading claims about Manali, Amarnath
A major avalanche hit Sikkim’s Nathula border area on April 4, 2023, and killed at least seven people. Videos from there are being shared with misleading claims that the visuals are from Kullu-Manali (Himachal) or Amarnath (Jammu-Kashmir) region.
- By Vishvas News
- Updated: April 27, 2023
New Delhi (Vishvas News): A video is going viral on social media where users are claiming that an avalanche has occurred in the Kullu-Manali region of Himachal Pradesh and “rescue efforts are underway for those buried under snow”. Some other claims link the visuals to Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir.
Vishvas News found the claims to be misleading as the visuals are from an avalanche in Sikkim that occurred on April 4, 2023, killing seven tourists and burying vehicles under snow. According to the Border Roads Organisation, the avalanche occurred on Jawaharlal Nehru Road connecting Gangtok with the Nathula pass.
Facebook user Sarvjot Lochan shared Jay D’s post which claims that an avalanche hit the Manali region (archive link). Another video shows several people being rescued from under a heavy blanket of snow in Amarnath.
Many Twitter users also shared similar claims.
We also received a few queries about this video on our WhatsApp Tipline Number +919599299372.
Vishvas News first did a Google open search to identify any recent avalanches in the Kullu-Manali region. One that occurred in January showed different visuals. Instead, we found many recent videos, dated April 4, of Sikkim. Several news reports also pointed these to be from the Sikkim avalanche. A news report by Indian Express also carried similar visuals.
Another blogger also uploaded an identical video (circulated as Amarnath video) on April 4, 2023 and named his vlog – ‘Road update heavy snowfall Changu Lake’. Many users in the comments below the video also pointed out that the tragedy happened near Changu Lake. On doing a Google open search, we found an Al Jazeera report that included details of the Sikkim avalanche near Changu Lake
Hindustan Times also carried a report which carried identical visuals of the avalanche that struck the road connecting Gangtok with Nathula at about 12:20 pm on April 4 (Tuesday).
Vishvas News also performed a Google reverse image search through the InVid tool on some of the keyframes of the viral video with the ones shared by Jagran.
On being contacted, Joydeep Das Gupta, News Sense Managing Editor, corroborated the details. News Sense is a unified public service platform for independent and unbiased news.
Tenzing D Denzongpa, Additional District Collector, Gangtok, also confirmed to Vishvas News that the visuals in the viral videos are of the Sikkim avalanche.
The Facebook user, who shared the viral claim, identifies himself as a digital creator and has around 1,000 followers.
Conclusion: A major avalanche hit Sikkim’s Nathula border area on April 4, 2023, and killed at least seven people. Videos from there are being shared with misleading claims that the visuals are from Kullu-Manali (Himachal) or Amarnath (Jammu-Kashmir) region.
- Claim Review : Avalanche has occurred in the Kullu-Manali region of Himachal Pradesh
- Claimed By : Fb user: Sarvjot Locham
- Fact Check : Misleading
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