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Fact check: Hurricane Laura post includes some misplaced images

Social media users have been sharing a post claiming to show a series of photos of the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura in late August 2020. At least seven of the 60 photos of disaster damage are, however, from previous disasters or simulations.

An Auto Zone auto parts store is seen damaged with its roof blown off in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S., August 28, 2020. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The post (here), shared over 1,000 times on Facebook, has 61 images and the caption reads, “Devastating pictures from Hurricane Laura: Louisiana Gulf Coast.”

Hurricane Laura killed six people and flattened buildings when it hit Louisiana on August 27 with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (241 kph) (here).

Three of the photos ( here  ,  here  ,  here  ) are of Hurricane Michael, which hit the United States in October 2018 (here). These images can be seen  here  ,  here  , and  here  .

Another (here) dates back to October 2005, showing the damage from Hurricane Rita (here), as shown in the official U.S National Archives Catalog  here  .

This photo (here) can be seen in the reporting at the time  here   ,  here  , and  here  of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 (here).

One of the images (here) is actually a 3D rendering of flooding houses (here). Another (here) is a stock photo dating back to at least 2019 described simply as “House destroyed by the passage of a hurricane in Florida” (here).

At least 41 of the images in the post are from Hurricane Laura, taken from various sources. Some are from Getty Images (here  ,  here   ,  here  ,  here  ) or Associated Press (here). Others come from Twitter posts by journalists on the scene ( here  ,  here  ,  here ).

Reuters was not able to independently verify the sources of the remaining 12 photos.

VERDICT

Partly false. Although at least 41 of the 60 photos of disaster damage show Hurricane Laura as they appear on Getty Images or other reputable sources, at least seven show previous hurricanes and one shows a simulation.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

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