PARTLY FALSE: ‘Photos’ of animals rescued following Taal eruption

Rappler.com
PARTLY FALSE: ‘Photos’ of animals rescued following Taal eruption
Majority of the photos circulated were taken in Guatemala after the 2018 Volcan de Fuego eruption

Claim: Some photos of rescued pets and animals circulated on Facebook, following the Taal Volcano eruption on Sunday, January 12.

At least two Facebook pages posted a set of photos on Tuesday, January 13. The photos show rescuers in masks and covered in ash while holding dogs and chickens. 

Readers sent posts by Facebook pages Melecio Valero and Beauty Products Online Philippines to Rappler via email for fact checking. 

Melecio Valero’s post had the caption: “KUDOS TO THESE BRAVE AND KINDHEARTED PEOPLE! Thank you for saving them! God bless your heart po and please don’t forget to continually pray for the people who are greatly affected.”

Beauty Products Online Philippines, which posted a few minutes after Melecio Valero, captioned its post: “Salute to those people who rescued the innocent animals. Thank you for not forgetting them.”

As of writing, these two pages’ posts had a combined share count of over 36,800, over 18,600 reactions, and 658 comments.

Rating: PARTLY FALSE

The facts: All except one of the posted photos of people rescuing animals were taken in Guatemala in 2018, after the eruption of Volcan de Fuego.

Reverse image search shows 5 of the 6 photos shared by the Facebook pages originally appeared in various news reports on the 2018 Volcan de Fuego eruption. Among the news outlets that published the photos almost two years ago were ABC NewsReutersIndependent.ieTelegraph, and Al Jazeera.

Out of the 6 photos posted by these pages, only one was taken in the Philippines after Taal Volcano erupted. It’s the photo of a masked woman holding her pet dog in Talisay, Batangas.

Although the pages did not mention Taal in their captions, they shared their posts a day after Taal Volcano erupted on January 12, causing readers to believe it was taken in the Philippines.

Both Facebook pages were also sharing a number of Taal-related posts as of January 15. By Rappler’s count, Melecio Valero shared at least 35 posts about Taal Volcano eruption, and Beauty Products Online Philippines shared at least 18 posts. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time. 

More fact checks on the January 2020 Taal Volcano eruption: