FALSE: Videos of Japan tsunami in April 2020

Claim: Videos aired live or uploaded in April 2020 show that Japan was struck by a tsunami.

Facebook user Debimlivinglifemoore posted a live video on Wednesday, April 22, with the title and caption, "Tsunami in Japan, pray Them Home. OMG!!" The Facebook Live video had been shared over 470,000 times, and received over 440,000 reactions and more than 200,000 comments. 

This live video has been taken down as of writing, but there are other videos uploaded on Facebook around the same dates with captions that say only "Japan tsunami."

A post by Facebook page Bulacan's Pride on April 22 uploaded a similar video with the title, "Japan Tsunami 2020, Puro bad news itong 2020 na dumating!" (So many bad news happening in 2020!)

Another video was uploaded on YouTube by user Janee Hoo on April 21, also carrying the title, "Tsunami in Japan, pray Them Home. OMG!!" The video description is the same as the title. It has been viewed over 16,000 times as of writing.

Some readers emailed the first Facebook Live post to Rappler for verification.

screenshots of Facebook posts with footage of tsunami in Japan in April 2020

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The videos are old footage from the destructive magnitude 9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

The Facebook Live video is a reuploaded, looped version of a video uploaded to YouTube on April 13, 2011, with a Japanese title that translates to "This is the evacuation and the great tsunami from the Great East Japan Earthquake." The video was taken in Ofunato City, according to the video description.

The second Facebook video is a clip from an old YouTube video, with a Japanese title that translates to "Great East Japan Earthquake Minamisanriku-cho Irimae Bay Tsunami." It was uploaded to YouTube on January 30, 2013. Its video description says that it was taken by a tsunami survivor at the Miyagi Prefecture during the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

The YouTube video is likewise a reuploaded version of another video uploaded on April 13, 2011. Its title, translated from Japanese is "00059 March 11, 2011 Tsunami that hits Miyako City." 

On April 22, 2020, the US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 5.3 earthquake that struck off Kuril Islands northeast of Hokkaido, but there are no reports of a tsunami generated by that quake. The Japan Meteorological Agency also has not issued any tsunami warning or advisory as of April 22, and none has been issued within the last month, according to the agency's website

At the time the claim spread, a Japanese government panel on Tuesday, April 21, released an estimate that northern Japan could be hit by tsunamis that could reach as high as 30 meters if a tremor that measures above magnitude 9 strikes off nearby trenches in the Pacific. – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

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