Dated footage falsely linked to Turkey quake

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Posts on social media claim two video clips filmed during powerful earthquakes depict the disaster that occurred in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023. This is false; the clips show two separate incidents that took place years before this month's catastrophic seismic events.

"Earthquake dangerous in Turkish," says the caption of a February 7, 2023 Facebook reel.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken February 13, 2023
Screenshot of a Facebook post taken February 13, 2023



The incorrectly captioned video montage appears elsewhere on Facebook, and spread during the aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, wiping out buildings and killing more than 35,000 people as of February 13, 2023.

However, AFP found both clips were posted on YouTube years prior, and reverse image searches conducted using keyframes from the videos revealed their origins.

The first was sourced from footage of an earthquake that took place in Nepal on April 25, 2015. The video was discussed in an article written eight years ago by Austin Elliot, an earthquake scientist at the US Geological Survey, for the American Geophysical Union.

Additionally, a close inspection of the video shared on Facebook shows it is timestamped with the year 2015. Uncropped versions of the video reveal the full timestamp dated April 25, 2015.

Several other indicators showing the two videos are identical are circled below.

Screenshot of a Facebook post taken February 13, 2023, with elements outlined by AFP



The second clip can be found in videos posted on YouTube four years ago, which identify the earthquake as one that hit Trinidad and Tobago, on August 21, 2018. This date matches the video's timestamp which can be seen in the top left corner of the video.

As with many recent crises and disasters, multiple false claims about the earthquake have circulated on social media. AFP has debunked other misrepresented visuals here, here and here.