False: A nuclear power plant exploded in Turkey after the February 6 earthquake.

By: Rajini KG
February 7 2023

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False: A nuclear power plant exploded in Turkey after the February 6 earthquake.


The Verdict False

Visuals of the 2020 Beirut port blast were falsely shared to be from the aftermath of the 2023 Turkey earthquakes.

Claim ID c23dfb17


On February 6, 2023, the first of four earthquakes struck southern Turkey and northwest Syria early in the morning. In both countries, many buildings collapsed due to the multiple earthquakes, and over 5,000 people were killed. According to the BBC, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the number of fatalities from earthquakes might increase eightfold. Soon after the first earthquake, many false and misleading videos related to Turkey began circulating on social media. One such video was shared on Facebook with the caption, "Nuclear plant explode due to Earthquake in Turkey (sic)." Many users have shared the video on different platforms with a similar claim. 

However, it is untrue. The video in question shows the Beirut Port blast from August 4, 2020; the visuals are not from Turkey.

In Fact

We found that Turkey has only one nuclear plant — the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — currently being constructed at Akkuyu, Büyükeceli, Mersin Province in Turkey. Reuters reported that the earthquake did not damage the Akkuyu nuclear plant. Anastasia Zoteeva, CEO of Russia's State nuclear energy company Rosatom, which is building the Akkuyu plant, said, "Tremors of about magnitude 3 were felt here... but our specialists have not revealed any damage to building structures, cranes and equipment." Therefore, it confirms that the video is not of the Akkuyu nuclear plant in Turkey.

Researching frames from the footage revealed that the video is from Lebanon. Logically found the same video on the YouTube channel of Sky News, uploaded on August 4, 2020. The video was titled "RAW VIDEO: Beirut blast caught on camera." 

At 0:14 seconds, the same video can be seen on the YouTube channel of Global News, uploaded on August 5, 2020. DW News also uploaded the same video, and its description states, "The capital Beirut has been hit by a massive explosion. Dozens of people are said to be injured, and there are some reports of people trapped under the rubble." 

According to a BBC report, on August 5, 2020, a large explosion was reported close to the centre of Beirut in port warehouses that contained 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate. More than 100 people died, and almost 4,000 were injured in the incident.

The Verdict

A three-year-old video of a warehouse blast in Beirut, Lebanon, was falsely linked to the tragic February 6 earthquake in Turkey.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before