False: These videos show the tsunami caused by the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6.

By: Praveen Kumar
February 7 2023

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False: These videos show the tsunami caused by the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6.


The Verdict False

No tsunami occurred in either region on February 6. Videos of tsunamis from Durban in 2017 and Japan in 2011 have been misattributed.

Claim ID 24d67cc4


A major earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was a 7.8 magnitude quake with a depth of 18 kilometres (11 miles). The following days saw multiple aftershocks, and thousands of buildings collapsed across both regions. Originating in Turkey's southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, the quake was felt in Damascus, Beirut, and as far away as Cairo. The death toll passed 5,000 following the latest quake. Photos and videos of the first earthquake on February 6 and its effects went viral.

One video on Twitter, with over 1.7 million views, shows a tsunami hitting a beach as people flee, and a person's hand points at huge, oncoming waves. Another video shared on Twitter, with over 4.3 million views, features a tsunami washing away cars as it hits the land, as people are heard exclaiming in fear. Both videos spread to Facebook and other social media sites, with similar captions and claims that the videos show a tsunami due to the earthquake that affected Turkey and Syria. However, this is not true, as no tsunamis were reported in relation to the 2023 earthquakes.

In Fact

On researching the keyframes from the viral footage, we found that the first video featuring a beach with palm trees is from the 2017 tsunami in Durban, a coastal city in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. We found this video clip in a news segment on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) Expresso Show YouTube channel, dated March 14, 2017.

The second video clip, which features a white and sky blue signboard and waves toppling vehicles, is part of a larger uncropped video from the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan. This particular video was taken in Miyako city, located in Japan's Iwate Prefecture. It can be found on the Japanese news channel ANNnewsCH (All-Nippon News Network) on YouTube.

It is possible that people online associated tsunamis with this natural disaster due to reports that Italy's Civil Protection Department issued tsunami warnings to its southern coast due to the earthquake on February 6. However, this warning was withdrawn later the same day. None of the latest credible news reports on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria mentions tsunamis.

The Verdict

Videos claiming to show tsunamis in Turkey or Syria on February 6 are false because no such incident occurred amid the major earthquake. Older videos of unrelated disasters were shared to claim as such. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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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