Photo of girl discovered after 2020 Turkey earthquake resurfaces in false context

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on February 24, 2023 at 06:04
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Bangladesh
A photo of a girl rescued from the rubble of a building is circulating in Facebook posts that falsely claim it was taken following a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6. The picture actually shows a child discovered alive 91 hours after a quake hit the Turkish city of Izmir in October 2020.

"A child trapped in an earthquake-damaged building. More than 4,000 people have died in the Turkish-Syrian border town so far," reads a Bengali-language Facebook post shared on February 7.

The photo shows a girl covered in dust trapped in rubble appearing to reach for someone's hand.

Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim, taken on February 23, 2023

The photo was shared in similar Facebook posts here and here after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 45,000 people.

Another quake rocked Turkey's southern province of Hatay and northern Syria on February 20, killing six people.

Izmir quake

A reverse image search on Google found the photo in an article from November 2020 about a three-year-old girl discovered alive after an earthquake struck the Turkish city of Izmir.

"2nd little girl pulled alive from Turkey's earthquake devastation," reads the report from November 3, 2020 by US broadcaster CBS.

The 7.0-magnitude quake hit the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and Izmir on October 30, 2020, killing 114 people.

AFP published the same photo of the girl, which is credited to the Turkish Gendarmerie and Anadolu news agency, and a photo of a rescue worker kissing her head.

Photos of the girl rescued on November 3, 2020 following an earthquake in Izmir, Turkey

AFP reported on the girl's dramatic rescue, when she was pulled from rubble 91 hours after the quake hit.

Hours after Ayda Gezgin was recovered, rescuers found the body of her mother in the same room of their destroyed apartment.

AFP has debunked a wave of misinformation about the Turkey-Syria earthquake in 2023.

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