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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 27, 2023

Video clips of extreme weather don’t support claim about current Berlin highway closures

If Your Time is short

  • Multiple clips in this video are from previous years and places other than Berlin.

  • We found no evidence to support the claim that all highways closed in Berlin on Sept. 24 when the post was shared, or anytime around then. 

A Sept. 24 Facebook post suggested a natural disaster drew traffic to a standstill on major roads in Berlin that day and shared more than six minutes of clips of extreme weather, including flooding. 

"Germany right now!" the post’s caption said. "In Berlin, all highways are closed! A million gallons of water poured into the streets!" 

The post included hashtags such as #hurricane, #climatechange and #floods2023.

It was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Reverse image searches of multiple clips in the video revealed that they don’t show Berlin in September 2023. 

One clip, for example, was posted July 2021 on X. It shows extreme weather in Vicht, Germany, about seven hours southwest of Berlin, according to an editor for German news outlet T-Online.

Another was posted June 2021 on X and reportedly shows flooding in another town seven hours southwest of Berlin. 

And others appear to show severe weather in France in September and Frankfurt in August

We reviewed the Berlin weather reports in the weeks before this video was posted, and we saw strong thunderstorms for about an hour Sept. 13, followed by scattered showers in the afternoon, some showers Sept. 18 and light rain Sept. 22. 

And on Sept. 24, the day of the purported flooding, the city hosted more than 45,000 runners for the 49th BMW Berlin Marathon. News coverage from that day shows Tigist Assefa of Ethiopia smashing the women’s marathon world record in 2:11:53 and Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya winning his fifth Berlin Marathon but no indication of a deluge. 

In other words, there’s been nothing to indicate such severe flooding that all highways in the city shut down this month. 

We also found no news stories to corroborate the post’s claim, although heavy rains flooded roads in Berlin in June. 

We rate this post False.


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Video clips of extreme weather don’t support claim about current Berlin highway closures

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