Did a tornado hit the Penang Bridge this morning?!
Take a look at the viral claim and video, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Penang Bridge Got Hit By Tornado This Morning!
This photo and warning keeps going viral on WhatsApp, and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook:
Happened this morning on Penang Bridge 😱😨🌪️🌪️
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Truth : Penang Bridge Did Not Get Hit By Tornado This Morning!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Viral Video Was Recorded In 2017
First, let me just point out that this viral video is not new. It was actually recorded at around 6 PM on 28 March 2017.
So the claim that the tornado appeared near and over the Penang Bridge “this morning” in June 2023 is false.
Since then, it has reappeared on WhatsApp and social media every year or so, usually when it rains heavily during the monsoon season.
Fact #2 : No One Was Injured In The Incident
The viral video shows a waterspout forming near the Penang bridge, and it eventually passes over the motorist recording it before the video cuts out.
To be clear – no one was hurt by that 2017 Penang waterspout, which was a mild one.
Fact #3 : The Video Shows A Waterspout, Not Tornado
Technically, the video does not show a tornado (which forms over land), but a waterspout which forms over a body of water. Waterspouts fall into two categories – tornadic waterspout, and fair weather waterspout.
The more dangerous tornadic waterspout are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water, during severe thunderstorms and are often accompanied by high winds and dangerous lightning .
The Penang Bridge waterspout seen in 2017 is what’s called a fair weather waterspout, which is more common and forms only over open water. Such waterspouts are small and less dangerous, and only form for a brief time.
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Fact #4 : Waterspouts Form Occasionally In Penang
Waterspouts may be uncommon, but they are not unheard of in Penang. They have been reported in the past:
- waterspouts were spotted in the North Channel, and the coast of Butterworth in November 2016
- two were reported in Kampung Perlis and Pulau Betong in November 2016
- a massive waterspout damaged 28 houses and apartments in Tanjung Tokong and Tanjung Bungah in April 2019
A spokesperson for the Meteorological Services Department in Penang said that the rise in global temperatures can increase the frequency of waterspouts.
Fact #5 : This Is Just Fake News About Nature
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created about nature. Here are other examples you may have seen on WhatsApp, and social media platforms:
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- Do Amaravalli Flowers Look Like Birds?!
- Does Viral Video Show Super Moon At Arctic Circle?!
- Do Mahameru Pagoda Flowers Only Bloom Every 400 Years?!
- Are Rohingyas using chemicals to freshen old vegetables to sell?!
- Did US Send 7000 Insects To Destroy Crops In China?!
- Can Flower of the Holy Spirit Transform To Dove?!
- Will Aphelion Phenomenon Create Cold Weather?!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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