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Fact Check - Was This Video Taken During the Recent Volcanic Eruption in Congo?

By Nyakerario Omari

These two tweets have close similarities. They both show a video of a volcanic eruption alleged to have taken place in Congo.

However, replies to these tweets suggest that this video was taken during an eruption in Iceland.

This fact check seeks to establish where and when this eruption happened.

Background

A few days after Mt Nyiragongo, erupted in Eastern Congo, families have been left homeless and others in search of missing family members. Those evacuated to Rubavu had started to return home. Rwanda’s Ministry of Emergency Management reported it had received 8,000 people affected by this eruption by May 23, 2021.

At the time of writing this, at least 32 people have been reported dead. Until May 23, 2021, UNICEF reported more than 150 children separated from their family members and 170 feared missing. There are no clear reports showing the numbers of households affected.

Verification

From a reverse image search, there wasn’t much in the way of results that Piga Firimbi found. However, a watermark at the bottom left of this video attributes it to a @joe_shutter.

Using this information, we ran a background check of this Iceland-based freelance photographer. This Instagram account came up with results showing the video was first posted on March 22, 2021. This account attributes this drone video to Joe Shutter. (See screengrab below).

Running an advanced Google search for between March 22, 2021, and May 25, 2021, with the keywords, ‘Iceland Eruption Joe Shutter’, this Facebook account showed results of this same video posted on April 4, 2021.

Iceland is the most volcanically active place in the world with at least an eruption every 5 years, without including sub-marine eruptions. This was the first eruption of Mount Fagradalsfjall in 800 years. This eruption was spotted by a satellite orbiting hundreds of kilometres above the ground.

Similarly, The Global Herald captured different angles of the mountain with lava spewing from the volcano.

Verdict

This video claiming to show the recent volcanic eruption in Congo is MISLEADING.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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WanaData is a Pan-African network of female journalists, data scientists and techies working on changing the digital media landscape by producing and promoting data-driven news while applying digital technologies in their storytelling.

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