Tamil Nadu

Fact Check: Video showing waves engulfing Pamban bridge is fake

In this image taken around 6 am on November 16, 2018, near Pamban bridge shows a man trying to hold his umbrella as gusty winds lash the region.   | Photo Credit: L. Balachander

If you get a video on instant messaging and social media platforms claiming that the Pamban bridge has been damaged by Cyclone Gaja, don't believe it.

"The bridge is safe and there is no cause for any alarm," said District Collector K Veera Raghava Rao when asked about such reports. It was, however, briefly closed for traffic on Thursday night as a precautionary measure when the cyclone was to make landfall. 

“Sea is calm in the area and traffic is normal on the bridge,” officials said on Friday. But a video showing tidal waves engulfing a bridge is being passed on as Pamban bridge since Thursday. 


The Pamban bridge, which connects the Pamban Island to Rameswaram, is a railway bridge. A road bridge runs adjacent to it. The bridge, officially called Annai Indira Palam, is 2.345 km long and was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on October 2, 1988. 

However, the bridge in the video is not Pamban at all. It is not the first time that rumours are being spread about the condition of the bridge. The same video was passed off as 'tsunami' waves affecting the Pamban bridge in December last year. There was no tsunami off the Tamil Nadu coast in 2017. 


In some cases, the video was described as 'Kerala Sea Bridge' during cyclone Ockhi that battered southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


The video was also passed on as the Worli-Mumbai sea link in Mumbai during cyclone Ockhi.


The video has travelled to far-away Brazil too. A Twitter handle @severeweatherEU posted the same video claiming to have been taken by one Marilu Turista on January 13 at Mongaguá, Brazil.


Fact-checking website Boomlive traced the video back to YouTube where it was uploaded on August 24, 2017, with the caption of ‘Minicoy Eastern Jetty, Rough Seas.’ The article can be read here.

While it is unclear if the video actually belongs to Minicoy Islands, it is certainly not of the Pamban bridge and wasn't taken on Thursday.

Here's a video of Pamban Bridge as on November 16, 2018:


(With inputs from D.J. Walter Scott in Rameswaram)


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 5:31:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fact-checkvideo-showing-waves-engulfing-pamban-bridge-is-fake/article25515941.ece

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