Africa: Video Shows 2022 Twister in Kansas, Usa – Not June 2024 Tornado in South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal Province

Video shows 2022 twister in Kansas, USA – not June 2024 tornado in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province

IN SHORT: A tornado did cause destruction in KwaZulu-Natal province in early June. But this video shows a twister in the US state of Kansas two years earlier.

On 3 June 2024 a tornado ripped through towns and settlements in the South African municipality of eThekwini, which includes the port city of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal province.

The twister was part of a major storm, with high winds, heavy rain and sudden flooding, that killed 11 people. Heaviest hit was the town of Tongaat, also known as oThongathi.

A tornado is a column of wind rotating at a high speed. They develop during thunderstorms and, when they touch the ground, can cause enormous damage. Tornadoes are common in South Africa, especially in the east.

The South African Weather Service says the oThongathi tornado rated EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures twisters’ wind speed from one to five. The speed of wind in an EF3 tornado can reach up to 265 kilometres an hour. These “stronger and more destructive” tornadoes only occur every decade or so.

In the week after the tornado hit KwaZulu-Natal, a video appeared on social media with the claim it showed the twister. In the clip we see a tornado barrelling through a settlement, throwing up the debris of destroyed buildings and leaving devastation in its wake.

It’s been posted with captions such as “Tornado KZN 4 June 2024” and “The #tornado seen on camera in KZN Durban“, and hashtags like #tongaattornado and #kzntornado.

But does the video really show the KwaZulu-Natal tornado?

Drone footage of 2022 tornado in Kansas, United States

Africa Check took a screenshot of the first frame of the video and ran it through a reverse image search.

This led us to several news reports of a tornado that tore through Andover, a town in the US state of Kansas, in May 2022. They all use the same footage, shot from a drone.

The twister was reportedly also a destructive EF3, but there were no fatalities.

In 2023 Africa Check debunked a claim that the same video showed part of the destruction when an earthquake hit Morocco. But it was shot in the United States, not Morocco – or South Africa.

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