July 15, 2024

Persistent waterlogging caused by monsoon rains claimed four lives in Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka in September 2023. A photo shared in social media posts about the disaster, however, was not taken in Dhaka in the aftermath of the flooding. The picture has circulated online since at least October 2019 in news reports about floods in India.

“The mayor of Dhaka is the only person responsible for the waterlogging in the city! None of us are responsible,” reads a Facebook post, written in Bengali and posted on September 23.

“To those who think otherwise, I’d like to ask them who dropped all these bottles then? Two mayors or unaware people like you and me?”

The Bangladeshi capital, which is governed by two mayors, ranks among world’s most polluted cities, with waterlogging of drainage systems a persistent cause of concern for its residents (archived here and here).

In September, four people, including a seven-year-old girl, were fatally electrocuted by a cable that fell onto a waterlogged street they were crossing, Bangladesh’s Daily Star reported (archived link). 

The Facebook post shows a photo of plastic bottles and garbage strewn around an open manhole in the street.

<img class="caas-img caas-lazy has-preview" alt="Screenshot of the false Facebook post taken on September 25, 2023” data-src=”https://thenewswave.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/old-photo-of-plastic-choked-manhole-falsely-linked-to-dhaka-waterlogging-in-2023.jpg”><img alt="Screenshot of the false Facebook post taken on September 25, 2023” src=”https://thenewswave.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/old-photo-of-plastic-choked-manhole-falsely-linked-to-dhaka-waterlogging-in-2023.jpg” class=”caas-img”>

Screenshot of the false Facebook post taken on September 25, 2023

The photo was shared in similar Facebook posts here and here that claimed it showed a street in Dhaka.

Photo from India

A reverse image search on Google found the photo in an article about deadly flooding in India in 2019.

The report, published on October 9, 2019 by Indian news outlet The Wire, said that 55 people died as monsoon rain battered the city of Patna in eastern India’s Bihar state (archived link).

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo shared in false posts (left) and published in The Wire’s article (right):

<img class="caas-img caas-lazy has-preview" alt="Screenshot comparison of the photo in the false post (left) and the photo shared in by The Wire’s report (right)” data-src=”https://thenewswave.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/old-photo-of-plastic-choked-manhole-falsely-linked-to-dhaka-waterlogging-in-2023-1.jpg”><img alt="Screenshot comparison of the photo in the false post (left) and the photo shared in by The Wire’s report (right)” src=”https://thenewswave.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/old-photo-of-plastic-choked-manhole-falsely-linked-to-dhaka-waterlogging-in-2023-1.jpg” class=”caas-img”>

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the false post (left) and the photo shared in by The Wire’s report (right)

The Wire’s article does not give the name of the photographer who took the picture.

However, freelance journalist Satyam Kumar Jha — who is quoted in The Wire’s report — told AFP that he took the photo, along with several others published in the article.

“I clicked this photo in Patna’s Rajendra Nagar on October 3, 2019,” he said.

“I was shooting flood visuals roaming around the city that day.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *