Tremors of Misinformation Shake Social Media After Turkey Earthquake

False International

Social media has made it easier than ever to share information and updates during natural disasters. However, this same convenience has also given rise to a new problem: the spread of misinformation. 

In the aftermath of an earthquake or flood or any other natural calamity, it is common for people to share videos and images of the destruction on social media. The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria is also not an exception to it. 

More than 36,000 people have been killed till now and tens of thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on 6 February, reports CNN.

Some videos shared in relation to the earthquake are actually outdated and unrelated. It is important to be aware of the false and misleading information that is being shared online.

In this article, we present a compilation of fact-checks done on these old and unrelated videos, in order to help distinguish between the real and the fake.

But first, let’s understand…

Why Should You Not Share Unverified Videos/Images?

Misinformation is a major threat to communication during and post-disaster phases. It hampers the process of effectively communicating with people during times of exceptional stress or emergency. 

Sharing unverified images and videos after natural disasters can lead to the spread of misinformation, confusion, and misunderstanding. 

This can have serious consequences as it can influence people’s decisions and actions leading to poor decision-making. People may also be misled into taking unnecessary risks by believing false claims.

It also can cause misallocation of the resources, resulting in wasted time, money, and energy which can make it harder to coordinate relief efforts. 

No Blast at Nuclear Plant

The most alarming claim circulated online was an alleged explosion at a Turkish nuclear power plant due to the recent earthquake. The claim was made with a video depicting a deafening explosion in a building near a harbor. 

In reality, the viral video footage is from Lebanon where a massive blast devastated the ammonium nitrate storage facility in 2020.

The under-construction Akkuyu Nuclear Plant in Turkey was rumored to have been damaged during the earthquake, but the construction company and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed with Turkish authorities that the Akkuyu Nuclear Plant was not affected by the earthquake.

Read – Fact-Check

No Tsunami in Turkey

A video showing massive waves flooding a beach became widely popular on the internet. The video was accompanied by claims that the earthquake in Turkey and Syria had caused a tsunami.

In fact, it was a “mini-tsunami” caused by a cyclone that was active off the coast of Madagascar in 2017. The small-scale tsunami hit Durban’s North Beach, resulting in damages to businesses along the coast and the loss of at least three lives.

Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) stated that there was no risk of a tsunami affecting the Eastern Mediterranean coast.

Read – Fact-Check

Unrelated Videos of Destruction

Successive earthquakes caused significant damage to buildings and infrastructure in parts of Turkey and Syria. Social media has been inundated with videos capturing the devastation caused by the earthquake. 

In one such viral video, a multi-story building collapses in front of everyone’s eyes. It was shared online as an incident during Turkey’s earthquake.

After checking upon it, it is found out that it is an old video from Saudi Arabia. 

Read – Fact-Check

Another video, which appeared to show scaffolding falling off a building, was claimed to have been filmed in Turkey.

Actually, the video is from Japan and dates back six years ago. Due to strong winds, the scaffolding of the building came off in 2016.

Read – Fact-Check

Some other videos show the moment when the earthquake hit, with the ground shaking violently and objects falling from shelves. 

In one video, you can see a crystal chandelier shaking violently as people frantically scream in terror. The 23-second clip has been shared with a claim that it has been recorded during the recent Turkey earthquake.

But the video is from a restaurant in Kaohsiung city of Taiwan. 

Read – Fact-Check

Touching but Missing Context

A picture of a dog sitting next to its owner’s body, which was buried under debris, became widely popular on social media. The image was circulated as a testament to the faithfulness and unwavering devotion that pets display toward their owners.

While the picture is heartbreaking and touching, it is unrelated to the recent earthquake in Turkey. The image that went viral is, in fact, a stock photograph that has been available on Alamy since 2018. Czech photographer Jaroslav Noska is credited with taking the picture. 

Read – Fact-Check

Another video that went viral shows a group of distressed cats in a pet store scurrying across the room. The cats were seen looking for a safer place to take shelter moments before the earthquake struck. 

However, the viral video was filmed at a pet cafe in Japan during an earthquake in 2018. It has no connection to the recent earthquake in Turkey.

Such images and videos can cause undue stress, worry, and anxiety for those affected by the disaster.  

Read – Fact-Check


Title:Tremors of Misinformation Shake Social Media After Turkey Earthquake

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: False

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *