Photo of trike under collapsed building NOT from Davao de Oro quake

March 18, 2023

A photo of a tricycle half-buried under a pile of rubble was included in a photo album, falsely passed off to show the damage caused by the recent Davao de Oro quake. The image is unrelated and nearly four years old. 

Posted by several Facebook (FB) pages on March 8, the compilation carried the caption “Pray for Davao De Oro.”

This is false. The trike photo was shot by photojournalist Rouelle Umali in Pampanga when a 6.1 magnitude quake struck on April 22, 2019, leaving 18 people dead.

Rappler also published an image of the same scene from a different angle in 2019. 

Meanwhile, four out of the six photos in the set were actually taken in Davao de Oro municipalities after the March 6 and 7 quakes.

  • This photo shows patients’ situation at Maragusan Provincial Hospital. 
  • This photo shows the collapsed Maragusan-New Bataan Road.
  • This image is a screenshot from a recording of a landslide in New Bataan. 
  • This photo shows a car that was hit by a rock in Maragusan.

Reverse image search did not provide results for the third photo showing collapsed walls. 

The image with wrong context made rounds online two days after a series of quakes jolted Davao de Oro, with the strongest at 5.9 magnitude recorded on March 7. 

According to Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Gonzaga, no deaths have been reported as of writing. However, some roads, houses, schools, and hospitals were damaged based on their initial assessments.

At least 28 FB pages uploaded the compilation with the wrong photo garnering 3,868 interactions according to the social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. Among those that posted were FB pages Active Readers (created on Dec. 4, 2016 as Balitang Politiko), Angelica J. Yap (Sept. 14, 2015 as Angelica Jane Yap), Philippine Trending Today (Sept. 10, 2016 as Duterte Trending Times), Bisaya Patama Quotes (April 6, 2018) and Vice Ganda Patama Quotes (May 25, 2011 as Patama love quotes).

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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VERA Files

VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit, independent media organization. Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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