Fact Check: 78,000 People Are NOT Under The Water In Great Britain -- Old Video Clips Are Misrepresented

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: 78,000 People Are NOT Under The Water In Great Britain -- Old Video Clips Are Misrepresented Old Footage

Are 78,000 people "under the water" right now in Great Britain? No, that's not true: This video is a compilation of flood and storm video clips from years past, and in some cases from other places such as Canada and South Africa. These are not scenes of a flood happening in Great Britain on August 26, 2023, when the clam was posted.

This 2:09-minute-long video was posted by the YouTube channel called Truth (@Warheit) on August 26, 2023 (archived here). The channel specializes in storm-themed clickbait videos, many titles starting with time-sensitive hooks such as, "Two minutes ago" and "Portugal now!" This video was titled, "Great Britain now! 78,000 people under the water! London and Liverpool closed!" The caption reads:

In an unprecedented turn of events, the bustling metropolis of London finds itself in the grip of a relentless and devastating flood. Streets that once echoed with footsteps and car engines now resemble tranquil rivers, as water levels continue to rise due to incessant rainfall and overwhelmed drainage systems.
The heart of this global financial hub has been profoundly affected, with iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London and the London Eye now surrounded by water. Residents are facing immense challenges, from power outages to transportation disruptions, testing the city's resilience in the face of a natural crisis.

On the same day, the video appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook, where it was published by the page Remain Rapture Ready with the caption:

Great Britain now! 78,000 people under the water!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Aug 31 14:56:14 2023 UTC)

This video does not show floods in "Great Britain now," nor does it show one flood. It shows many isolated scenes of storms that have happened over time. The opening scene (pictured above) does not show a real flood, but an environmental protest action titled, "Our House is Flooding." The replica of a brick house was floated in the River Thames on November 10, 2019, by the group Extinction Rebellion to bring attention to rising sea levels.

For the ease of linking to specific timestamps in the video, a feature not available on Facebook, Lead Stories will use screenshots from the @Warheit YouTube video bearing the red watermark of the channel Wahr in the composite images below.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with YouTube screenshots taken on Thu Aug 31 18:47:56 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories was not able to identify the source of the double-decker bus driving on a flooded street (at 39 seconds) or the white car parked in the downpour (at 1:04 minutes in).

  • The video of a kayaker paddling down a flooded street 47 seconds in (below left) had been posted on Twitter on February 25, 2020. The post identified this as Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.
  • There was flash flooding in London on August 17, 2022. @AndrewsVisual posted a video on Twitter that showed a man trying to clear a flooded storm drain with a broom (below right) in King's Cross, which appears at the 55-second mark.
  • A video of the River Taff flowing quickly through the city of Cardiff, Wales, (bottom left) at 1:07 minutes in was originally posted on Twitter on January 12, 2023.
  • On August 27, 2017, Olivier Dorion posted a video on Facebook showing lightning striking a tree next to the entrance of the Bryson Lake Lodge in Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Quebec, Canada, (bottom right), which appears at 1:19 minutes into the @Warheit video.

(Source: Lead Stories composite image with YouTube screenshots taken on Thu Aug 31 18:47:56 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories could not identify the source of the weather map, which appears at 1:28 minutes into the video (below, upper left).

  • The video of cars driving through the flooded streets of a shopping district (below right) at 1:41 minutes in was posted on Twitter by the Polokwane Observer on February 1, 2023 -- the city pictured is Polokwane, South Africa.
  • The flooded farm that appears at 1:47 minutes into the video (bottom left) shows a farm in the Tywi Valley of Carmarthenshire, Wales. The video appears in a January 10, 2023, article from BBC News.
  • The video ends with a clip at 1:57 minutes in, showing strong winds and hail (bottom right). This video was posted to Facebook on May 25, 2022, and filmed south of Santa Anna, Texas, in the U.S.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with YouTube screenshots taken on Thu Aug 31 18:47:56 2023 UTC)

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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