Fact-check: 3 viral videos aren’t from Turkey, Syria earthquake
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VERIFY is fact-checking footage claiming to show scenes from the Feb. 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria. These three viral videos aren’t from the earthquake.

A powerful, 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey and neighboring Syria on Feb. 6, killing more than 2,300 people and injuring thousands more as it toppled hundreds of buildings and trapped residents under mounds of rubble.

Authorities feared the death toll would rise further as rescuers searched through tangles of metal and concrete for survivors in a region beset by more than a decade of Syria’s civil war and a refugee crisis.

Soon after news of the earthquake broke, footage appearing to be from the devastation was shared on social media. VERIFY fact-checked whether these three viral videos show scenes from the Feb. 6 earthquake. 

This is a developing story, and footage claiming to show scenes from the Feb. 6 earthquake is quickly being posted to social media. If you see something you would like fact-checked, please email questions@verifythis.com or text us at 202-410-8808.


Does this video show buildings collapsing after the earthquake in Turkey?

This video has been viewed more than a million times on Twitter and shows several buildings in a residential area collapsing. 



This is false.

The footage shows the condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021. 


Using InVid, a video forensics tool, VERIFY analyzed the keyframes of the viral video and conducted a reverse image search of the frames. 

VERIFY was able to trace the video to June 24, 2021, when a 12-story beachfront condominium in Surfside, Florida, collapsed. The video was taken from the security camera of an adjacent building. VERIFY partner station KHOU posted the original video to its website and YouTube channel.

The video from June 24, 2021, matches the 2023 viral video frame-by-frame, confirming not only that the video was from Surfside but also that it was posted online more than a year before the earthquake in Turkey. 


Does this video show a tsunami approaching the shore after the Feb. 6 earthquake?

The video shows a massive wave hitting a coastline. A tweet with more than 580,000 views says: “#Tsunami and Earthquake in Turkey.” 



This is false.

The video was posted online in 2017 and shows a mini-tsunami hitting a beach in South Africa.


The video was taken from the South African coast on March 12, 2017, not in Turkey as the viral tweet suggested. 

VERIFY was able to trace the footage using video forensic tools InVid and RevEye. 

Several videos were posted to YouTube in March 2017 and show the same beachfront promenade – the same palm tree formation, the same pool and the same group of people running from the massive waves. 

After the Feb. 6 earthquake hit, Italy’s Civil Protection Department (CPD) issued a statement alerting people to stay away from coastlines in case a tsunami could be triggered. The department later rescinded the order. CPD said there was no tsunami threat to the region through Feb. 7

The Turkey Regional Earthquake-Tsunami Monitoring Center monitors earthquakes and tsunami warnings in the area. In the latest bulletin on the Feb. 6 earthquake, there was no mention of a tsunami being triggered. The Associated Press has also not reported or confirmed any tsunami activity caused by the earthquake. 


Does this video show towers collapsing in Syria after the Feb. 6 earthquake?

The tweet and video claims to show two towers collapsing in Syria after the earthquake. The tweet has more than 75,000 views. 



This is false.

This video shows the August 2022 demolition of two towers in India. The account was suspended from Twitter after repeatedly posting misinformation.


The video doesn’t show towers collapsing in Syria, as the tweet claims, but instead shows the planned demolition of the Supertech twin towers in Noida, India, in 2022. 

VERIFY was able to trace the footage using video forensic tools InVid and RevEye. 

According to the Times of India, the towers were illegally built in the Emerald Court compound in Noida and were ordered to be demolished on Aug. 28, 2022. Footage of the demolition was posted to YouTube at the time of demolition and matches what was seen in the viral tweet claiming to be from Syria. 

VERIFY looked into the Twitter account that posted the footage – @EduMPunjab, with the display name Ministry of Education, Punjab. VERIFY found a number of reasons why the account was suspicious before it was suspended from Twitter. 

The account was new to Twitter and posted false footage in high frequency  – these are suspicious traits and are known tactics used to spread misinformation. 

Tweets from the account were posted several times a minute and the footage posted did not show scenes from Turkey or Syria. For example, this video was posted to the account more than 20 times in under 10 minutes. The tweet with the video said a nuclear plant was on fire.

But that video was actually from 2018 and shows an explosion in Tianjin, China. 

Another video that was tweeted repeatedly by the @EduMPunjab account claimed to show a tsunami hitting the Turkey-Syria coastline. But that video wasn’t after the Feb. 6 earthquake, either. It was taken in March 2011 and shows waves from the tsunami that hit Japan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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