Fact Check: Bulgarian Scientists Did NOT Blame HAARP For The 2023 Flooding In Tsarevo

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Scientists Did NOT Blame HAARP For The 2023 Flooding In Tsarevo Cyclone

Did scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) claim that the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is responsible for the severe floods that hit the Bulgarian city of Tsarevo, on September 5, 2023? No, that's not true. No evidence or media reports from reliable news sources support the claim circulating on social media. In addition, the reported rainfall recorded on that day in Tsarevo is lower than the one claimed on TikTok.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published by @lionheart474 on September 5, 2023.

The text in Bulgarian under the photo, translated into English by Lead Stories staff, reads:

Scientists from BAS! Tsarevo has been hit by HAARP! 500 liters per square meter.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 8.08.58.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Sep 11 05:35:01 2023 UTC)

The claim in the TikTok video, also shared by various Facebook groups, can be traced back to a piece of content dated September 5, 2023, posted on a newly created Bulgarian website, whose first published post dates to September 4, 2023. Many of the posts on the site consist of short clickbait claims, with questionable content, and no provided sources.

The TikTok video claims that HAARP is responsible for the floods in Tsarevo, having caused a 500 liter per second rainfall over the city. This is not true. The rain over Tsarevo and some populated areas in the municipality did not reach 500 liters per square meter (l/sq m) on September 5, 2023. According to official data, the rainfall was slightly over 300 l/sq, and it was not caused by HAARP, but by cyclone Daniel, which hit the Mediterranean, mainly affecting Greece. In a statement to the media, Anastasia Stoycheva, meteorologist from the Bulgarian National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), quoted in a publication on the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water website, stated that the amount of rainfall in the affected municipality reached 329 l/sq m.

Similar readings are not completely unsual in the region, and ​​have been recorded in the past in Bulgaria decades before the HAARP program even started, in the early 1990s: Stoycheva added that in the same region, a precipitation with an intensity of 342 l/sq m was observed in 1951.

Also, there is no trace of the claimed statement by Bulgarian scientists on HAARP allegedly being the cause of the recent floods in Tsarevo: A search for different phrases used in the claim circulating on social media, performed by Lead Stories on September 11, 2023, using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites, did not return any results.

The HAARP program, developed by the U.S. Air Force in the 1990s and used for ionosphere studies, was transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in August 2015. The claim that HAARP is a method of climate control and that it has caused various natural disasters over the years has been debunked several times, also by Lead Stories. Scientists have refuted claims of a possible link between natural disasters and HAARP many times.

Other fact checks by Lead Stories on HAARP can be found here and here.

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