FACT CHECK: No, This Video Does Not Show Flooding From China’s Three Gorges Dam

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows floodwaters caused by the Three Gorges Dam in China being opened.

Verdict: False

The video actually shows flooding from a 2011 tsunami in Japan.

Fact Check:

The Three Gorges Dam was constructed from 1994 to 2006 on the Yangtze River in the Chinese province of Hubei, CNN reported. It is the world’s largest hydroelectric facility in terms of electricity production, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In the Aug. 3 Facebook post’s footage, a torrent of water spills over the retaining wall of a waterway, carrying away boats and automobiles. The caption reads, “The Gorges Dam in China was opened due to heavy overflowing. See what happened next.” (RELATED: Were Over A Dozen Bull Sharks Accidentally Dumped In The Ouachita River?)

The video, however, was not filmed in China or this year. ANN News, a Japanese news outlet, posted a longer version of the footage on the outlet’s verified YouTube channel in January 2020. In the title, ANN News reported the video showed the Japanese city of Miyako being struck by a tsunami caused by the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake.

The magnitude nine earthquake and resulting tsunami killed over 18,000 people and caused the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, according to BBC News. The location in Miyako featured in the video can be seen in a Google Maps street view from November 2011, months after the natural disaster.

A review of news articles by Check Your Fact turned up no credible reports of the Three Gorges Dam overflowing and causing massive flooding this summer. Record rainfall in the central Chinese province of Henan starting in mid-July resulted in flooding that authorities said killed over 300 people, France 24 reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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