Posts falsely claimed another 'super typhoon' would hit the Philippines days after Typhoon Rai

·2 min read

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in social media posts that claim a "new super typhoon" was forecast to hit the Philippines days after Typhoon Rai tore through the archipelago in December, killing hundreds of people. In fact, the video shows a forecast for a weather disturbance that Philippine meteorologists initially said had a "low chance of becoming a typhoon" but eventually dissipated on December 23, 2021.

"NEW TYPHOON! TYPHOON PAOLO, NOW A SUPER TYPHOON!" reads the caption alongside a YouTube video on December 23, 2021.

It has been viewed more than 190,000 times.

Screenshot of a Youtube post taken on December 27, 2021

The post goes on to claim that the purported super typhoon "will hit Visayas again".

This is a reference to the central Philippine islands that suffered the brunt of Typhoon Rai just over a week before Christmas.

Rai has killed almost 400 people in the Philippines, of which almost 300 were in the Visayas region, according to a December 30 count by the Philippine disaster agency.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless after the super typhoon destroyed houses and trees.

The YouTube video was also shared on Facebook here and here.

Screenshots taken from the same video were shared here, here and here alongside a similar claim.

"I hope it does not push through… I haven't even recovered from the onslaught of [Rai] yet", one user wrote in response to the video.

"Let's pray for the safety of our fellow Filipinos in the Visayas", another commented.

But the posts shared the video in a misleading context.

False alarm

Keyword searches found the video was in fact taken from a longer forecast issued by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) -- the national weather agency.

In the December 23 forecast, Pagasa said: "According to our latest anaylsis, [a weather disturbance] may enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday or Monday. We are seeing that it has a low chance of becoming a typhoon."

The weather agency did not forecast the disturbance would become a "super typhoon" -- a category of tropical cyclone for which winds exceed 220 kilometers per hour.

In a later forecast on December 23, Pagasa announced the weather disturbance had "dissipated".

Pagasa said in another forecast here on December 28 that no typhoon was expected to hit the country in the final days of the year.

AFP has previously debunked false super typhoon warnings here and here.

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