The claim: A TikTok user @pangkoyjamespraket claimed in a video he posted on Monday, April 17, that there will be a series of disasters in Leyte and neighboring towns on July 1, 2023, due to an underwater volcanic eruption that will cause tsunamis.
According to the video, four tragedies will happen, including a tsunami in Liloan, Southern Leyte and a series of volcanic eruptions midday of Saturday, July 1. The video issued a warning and advised the public to run away before that day.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim is, at the moment, still up online, and is causing panic among some viewers. So far, the post has been shared 85 times and has garnered 44 heart reactions, 5 comments, and has been saved eight times as of Friday, May 5.
Because the account has a huge following, this increases the chances of the fake post spreading on social media. The TikTok user has 22,500 followers as of posting.
Hoax: Two days after it was posted, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) spotted the claim and immediately belied the content of the video.
“The Office of Civil Defense Region VIII would like to clarify that the Tiktok video circulating online pertaining to the schedule of multiple volcanic eruptions and tsunamis in Leyte and Southern Leyte has no scientific proof, thus, FALSE,” the OCD statement on Wednesday, April 19, said.
The OCD further enjoined netizens and the public to avoid sharing such videos and instead depend on trusted agencies for information.
“We also request everyone to use social media responsibly to avoid confusion and panic,” the OCD said.
As of May 5, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology (Phivolcs) has not posted any tsunami alert or any warning about volcanic eruptions in Leyte. Rappler sought reactions from Phivolcs but the agency has not responded as of writing.
Despite recent earthquakes, there has been no tsunami alert from Phivolcs either. – Rappler.com
Ricky Bautista is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow.
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