This video shows a cemetery destroyed by a flood in Tajikistan

This video shows a cemetery destroyed by a flood in Tajikistan
This video shows a cemetery destroyed by a flood in Tajikistan

Copyright © AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

The video of a cemetery with mud covered ground has been shared more than 60,000 times on social media since mid-2019 along with the claim that it shows tombs opened and emptied “mysteriously” in a cemetery in Thailand. Some posts also indicate that this would be a sign of Jesus’ return. But the claim is false: the recording was made in Tajikistan after floods destroyed the graves of a village cemetery and dragged the coffins.

“SCARY: cemetery in Thailand dawned like this today, with all the tombs open and without a corpse and so far no one can explain what happened, the mystery remains in place”, say the subtitles of the videos, viewed more than 3.4 million times in publications on Facebook (1, 2), Instagram (1), Twitter (1) and YouTube (1, 2).

Other posts (1, 2) make a similar statement, but with a question about a supposed return of Jesus, including in English.

Screenshot taken on March 30, 2021 from an Instagram post

In the video you can see a row of graves, all open, while listening to people talking in the background in a foreign language.

Flooded cemetery

A reverse search for several screenshots of the video showed that the scene was filmed in a cemetery in the village of Shurkurgan, near the city of Konibodom in Sughd province, Tajikistan.

An article published on June 3, 2019, whose source is attributed to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFERL), describes how the tombs collapsed after, the day before, a river located on the outskirts of the village filled and flooded the area.

The article includes a photograph of the consequences of the flood and an 11-second video showing the destruction caused. The recording was also published on YouTube by the Ozodivideo account, REFRL’s Tajik service, with the caption: “The lamacher destroyed the Shurkurgan cemetery in Konibodom”.

56a6192a5d.jpgScreenshot taken on March 24, 2021 of a flood story in Tajikistan

Although it is not the same as the video associated with Thailand on social media, it is possible to observe the same mud-covered floor and open tombs. A longer version can be found on another news site, along with a detailed account of the rain that devastated areas of Tajikistan two years ago.

The published articles on the case, however, do not clarify what happened to the bodies that were in the graves.

Through the search engine Yandex, the AFP verification team found a third sequence of the same case, published in an account on YouTube. The recording is titled “SH.Konibodom after the flood” and shows the results of the destruction, apparently filmed over a local wall.

A black metallic structure is seen in the background of the viralized footage, similar to that observed in the recordings published on the news site and on YouTube, as shown below:

comparacao2edit_1.png?w=696&ssl=1Combination of images made on April 1, 2021 from a Facebook post (left), a news site (right top) and YouTube

Similar content was checked by the team.

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