Whenever big events like natural disasters occur, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish what information is real and what’s made up in the midst of the chaos. That’s why it’s important to stay informed on up to date information and always fact check when possible.
As you know, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coastline on Friday, August 25. It’s the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. since Wilma in 2005 and the strongest since Hurricane Charley in 2004.
It is also the strongest hurricane in Texas since Carla in 1961 and it has already broken the all-time Texas rainfall record from a tropical storm or hurricane. Needless to say, the destruction Harvey is unleashing is massive and it’s not over yet.
We reported about opportunistic scammers are already taking advantage of the Hurricane Harvey crisis with fake donation campaigns and Facebook-like farming schemes.
However, it’s not just money-making scams you need to look out for – fake images about Hurricane Harvey are also circulating online.
For whatever reason, maybe they’re being posted for the shock value or to outright mislead people, here are the top five fake Hurricane Harvey viral photos right now:
1. Flooded Houston Airport
This terrifying photo of a flooded Houston airport is thankfully fake.
The photoshopped image is actually from a Climate Central article that warns about the effects of rising sea levels on U.S. airports.
Employees of the Houston airport have already debunked this image and said that although the airport is affected by Hurricane Harvey, it is not as apocalyptic as the image shows.
2. Alligators on the driveway
Although these alligator images are real, they were not taken during Hurricane Harvey.
They were simply used by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s office to warn residents about alligators seeking higher ground during the storm.
— FBCSO Texas (@FBCSO) August 24, 2017
3. Shark on the freeway
Don’t be fooled yet again. This image of a shark swimming on a freeway always makes its social media rounds during major flooding events.
It’s actually a photoshopped image lifted from a 2005 issue of Africa Geographic.
This fake photo first appeared during Hurricane Irene and the last time it went viral was during the 2015 Memorial Day flood, also in Houston.
4. Cajun Navy
Another photo that’s making the rounds is this image of a “Cajun Navy” convoy making its way to Houston to help out in the rescue operations.
Although Cajun Navy volunteers are actively involved in Hurricane Harvey’s rescue operations, this viral photo is actually an image of the Louisiana Cajun Navy taken in 2016.
5. Black Lives Matter blockade
This image is likewise being spread around on social media. It supposedly shows a group of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking emergency units during Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
The photo is actually from a CNN video about a large group of protesters that shut down an Atlanta highway in July 2016.
What do you think? Were you fooled by any of these photos? Drop us a comment!