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Indonesian volcano clip falsely shared as ‘Mount Kanlaon erupting in the Philippines’

In World
June 04, 2024

Multiple social media posts have shared a 2018 video of a volcano eruption in Indonesia alongside a false claim it shows Mount Kanlaon erupting in the central Philippines in June 2024. The Philippine volcanology agency told AFP that the video — viewed hundreds of thousands of times — did not correspond to official pictures of Kanlaon.

“Mt Canlaon erupted,” read the Tagalog-language caption of a June 3 Facebook reel viewed more than 860,000 times, using an alternate spelling for the volcano.

The seven-second video appears to show close-up footage of a volcano spewing lava and ash.

The video circulated elsewhere on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube alongside a similar false claim.

<span>A screenshot of the false post on Facebook</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/AV_jGbuT9QCxypiUvbqP7A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTEyMzI-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/11f17220d34dd85e5a5b18704068e94c”><noscript><img alt=A screenshot of the false post on Facebook” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/AV_jGbuT9QCxypiUvbqP7A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTEyMzI-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/11f17220d34dd85e5a5b18704068e94c” class=”caas-img”>

A screenshot of the false post on Facebook

Mount Kanlaon on the central Philippine island of Negros erupted on the night of June 3, prompting at least 2,800 people to evacuate into emergency centres due to falling ash, gases and the threat of lahars from the volcano.

The state volcanology agency Phivolcs raised the alert level for the volcano from one to two on a scale of zero to five, warning more explosive eruptions were possible.

But the video shows Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano erupting in 2018, not the Philippines’ Kanlaon volcano in June 2024.

Indonesian eruption

Google reverse image searches of the video’s keyframes, followed by keyword searches on YouTube, found a video uploaded by user Martin Rietze on November 6, 2018, which has garnered more than 13 million views (archived link).

The video’s caption read in part: “Anak Krakatau volcanic activity at night, 24-26 Oct 2018. Eruptions filmed in real time, no timelapse!”

The user is a Germany-based photographer who often posts high-definition footage of volcanoes on his official website and YouTube channel (archived links here and here). 

The false posts show a mirrored and sped-up version of the 2018 video up to its 20-second mark.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the false video (left) and the 2018 video of Anak Krakatau (right):

<span>Screenshot comparison of the false video (left) and the 2018 video of Anak Krakatau (right)</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/JkAm7p714e2Q4bLbU4xAqg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTUwMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/1c3d5d6c62824a6d7d6dfd1585e385b6″><noscript><img alt=Screenshot comparison of the false video (left) and the 2018 video of Anak Krakatau (right)” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/JkAm7p714e2Q4bLbU4xAqg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTUwMw–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/1c3d5d6c62824a6d7d6dfd1585e385b6″ class=”caas-img”>

Screenshot comparison of the false video (left) and the 2018 video of Anak Krakatau (right)

The same footage was also published by video agency Newsflare, credited to Rietze (archived link).

Indonesian media outlets Liputan 6 and Tempo.co also reported Anak Krakatau’s volcanic activity on October  24, 2018 (archived links here and here).

Phivolcs director Teresito Bacolcol told AFP on June 4 that the eruption in the circulating video did not show the recent eruption of Mount Kanlaon.

Genuine photos of the Kanlaon volcano eruption were published by AFP with credit to witnesses Irish Casag and Dollet Demaflies, as shown in the screenshot below:

<span>Handout photos of Mount Kanlaon volcano, courtesy of Irish Casag and Dollet Demaflies</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vYles_Tgh.KT6VuhXaM0CQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTgwNQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/a00e72af68524b3022339a0e01710582″><noscript><img alt=Handout photos of Mount Kanlaon volcano, courtesy of Irish Casag and Dollet Demaflies” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/vYles_Tgh.KT6VuhXaM0CQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTgwNQ–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/a00e72af68524b3022339a0e01710582″ class=”caas-img”>

Handout photos of Mount Kanlaon volcano, courtesy of Irish Casag and Dollet Demaflies

The Philippines is periodically hit by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” — a zone of intense seismic activity.

AFP has previously reported on other volcanic misinformation here.

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