These photos show damage caused by different earthquakes in Taiwan from 2016 to 2019

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Four photos have been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts alongside a claim they show the aftermath of an earthquake that hit Taiwan in December 2020. The claim is false: the images actually show damage caused by three different earthquakes in Taiwan from 2016 to 2019.

The photos were published on Facebook here on December 11, 2020. The post has been shared more than 200 times.

 

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on December 19, 2020

 

 

The Burmese-language post translates to English as: “(10-12-2020) (9:19) PM It is known that a 6.7-magnitude earthquake shakes Taiwan for 15 minutes. (Damage list is not yet known) [#MyatTunAung]”.

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan on December 10, 2020, at 9:19pm local time, AFP reported.

The photos have been shared more than 320 times after they were posted here, here, here, and here with a similar claim.

The claim is false.

First photo


A reverse image search on Google, followed by keyword searches, found this photo in an article published by Taiwan News. It reports that an earthquake hit Hualien county overnight on February 6, 2018.

The photo, credited to Taiwan’s state-owned Central News Agency (CNA) is captioned: “Aerial view of Yuntsui building”.

Below is a screenshot of the photo in the Taiwan News report:

Screenshot of the photo in the Taiwan News report

The 6.4-magnitude quake that hit Hualien, a popular tourist city in Taiwan, on February 6, 2018, killed at least seven people, injured more than 250 others and left dozens missing, AFP reported here. The article features a photo of the same building.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the CNA photo (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the CNA photo (R)

Second photo

Another Google reverse image search, followed by keyword searches, found this image was published by Reuters in a photo report headlined “Earthquake hits Taiwan” on February 6, 2016.

The photo caption reads: “Crushed vehicles are seen under a building that was damaged after a powerful earthquake hit Tainan, February 6, 2016.” 

Around 40 people were confirmed dead and some 100 people were missing after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan, on February 6, 2016, AFP reported.

Below is a screenshot of the photo on the Reuters website: 

Screenshot of the photo on the Reuters website


Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Reuters photo (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo in the Reuters website (R)

Third photo

A Google reverse image search found this AFP photo, dated February 7, 2018.

Below is a screenshot of the AFP photo: 

Screenshot of the AFP photo

The photo caption reads: “A general view shows the Yun Tsui building (back C) leaning to one side after an overnight earthquake in the Taiwanese city of Hualien on February 7, 2018. Rescue workers pulled survivors and bodies from buildings tilting precariously in the Taiwanese city of Hualien on February 7 after an overnight earthquake killed at least six people, injured more than 200 and left dozens missing. Emergency responders were focusing on a 12-storey apartment block and a nearby hotel, both of which were leaning dangerously with their lower floors pancaked after the 6.4-magnitude quake hit the popular tourist city late Tuesday.”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the AFP photo (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the AFP photo (R)

Fourth photo

A Google reverse image search found this Reuters photo, dated April 18, 2019.

Its caption reads: “A vehicle surrounded by fallen trees is seen after an earthquake in Taipei, Taiwan April 18, 2019.”

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake that jolted Taipei on April 18, 2019, injured 17 people, AFP reported.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo on the Reuters website (R):

Screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo in the Reuters Pictures website (R)