Misleading posts resurface old earthquake clips as Turkey reels from disaster
Misleading posts have recirculated old video clips of flattened buildings following the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria in February 2023. These clips, which have racked up hundreds of thousands of views, actually show the aftermath of an earlier earthquake that rocked Turkey in October 2020.
A video that shows a collapsing building followed by scenes from a destroyed neighbourhood block has been viewed more than 400,000 times on Twitter.
The February 6, 2023 tweet reads: "February 6, 2023 ....There are reports of several hundred dead. The Entire buildings collapsed in South #Turkey the epicenter of 7.8 magnitude earthquake in last hour, #Turkey #earthquake."
A 7.8 magnitude quake, one of the deadliest this century, has killed over 16,000 people in Turkey and Syria in February 2023.
The sprawling scale of the disaster that flattened thousands of buildings, trapping an unknown number of people, has swamped relief operations already hampered by freezing weather.
But the clips -- also posted with a similar claim on Twitter here and here and Facebook here and here -- have been shared in a misleading context.
They actually show the aftermath of an earthquake that rocked Turkey in 2020.
A Google reverse search of video keyframes extracted using InVID-WeVerify, a digital verification tool, found the clip that shows the collapsing building was previously published by British newspaper The Guardian on October 30, 2020.
"Turkey earthquake footage captures moment building collapses in İzmir – video," the report reads.
A magnitude 7.0 quake hit in the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and the city of Izmir in western Turkey on October 30, 2020, AFP reported.
Most of the damage was in Turkey, where 114 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the clip in the misleading posts (left) and the video from The Guardian (right):
The same building in Izmir can be seen on Google Street View here.
Further reverse image and keyword searches found the second clip was also published by The Guardian on the same day.
"Footage shows the aftermath of a deadly earthquake that struck in the Aegean sea and toppled buildings in the Turkish city of İzmir and the Greek island of Samos," the report by The Guardian reads.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the second clip shared in the misleading posts (left) and the news report (right):
The neighbourhood block shown in the video corresponds to Google imagery of a street in Izmir here.
AFP has debunked other out-of-context photos and videos shared after the 2023 earthquake in Turkey and Syria here, here and here.