False: These videos show buildings collapsing in Turkey and Syria during the earthquake on February 6.

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 7 2023

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False: These videos show buildings collapsing in Turkey and Syria during the earthquake on February 6.


The Verdict False

Outdated videos of buildings collapsing have been shared falsely, claiming to show visuals from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Claim ID 4ef81a16


A major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Turkey and Syria early on February 6 morning, leaving more than 5,000 dead and many injured. After the first quake, two more tremors hit Turkey's southern regions on Monday. Another earthquake of magnitude 5.6 struck on Tuesday, causing widespread destruction. According to reports, there have been many aftershocks as well. A tsunami alert was issued in Italy in the aftermath but was later withdrawn.

The Guardian reported that hundreds of people are still believed to be trapped, and rescue operations are underway. Several visuals have surfaced on social media after the earthquake, claiming to show footage taken during the quake. We identified four such videos circulating on social media, which claim to show the earthquake and building collapses in Turkey and Syria. The footage is, in fact, older and unrelated.

In Fact

One viral video, shared on Facebook by ETimes Lifestyle, shows an apartment building in a large complex collapsing to the ground, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake. The text on the video reads: "Hundreds of people dead after 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits south Turkey". A reverse image search showed that the viral footage was captured in 2021 when a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. A security camera captured the footage during the collapse of the Champlain Towers South residential building on June 24, 2021. According to Reuters, 97 people were killed after the building crumbled on June 24, and one died in the hospital. American talk show host Andy Slater shared the viral video on Twitter on June 24. He wrote, "JUST IN: Video I've obtained of the building collapse in Surfside, Florida." This proves that the viral video is old and unrelated to the recent earthquake in Turkey.

In another video shared on Twitter on February 6, a building at the corner of a street completely collapses, engulfing the area in dust. People are seen running in fear as the building falls. Social media users claimed that this was captured during the earthquake in Turkey. However, we found that the video was taken in 2020 when an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 hit Turkey's Aegean region and Greece. The Guardian published the viral video on their official YouTube channel on October 20, 2020. The video's title read, "Turkey earthquake footage captures moment building collapses in İzmir." According to a CNN report dated November 2, 2020, at least 79 people were killed and 962 injured in the quake, which also triggered a mini-tsunami. The death toll reached 100, Hindustan Times reported.  

A third viral video shared on Twitter shows the scaffolding of a building collapsing on the road. A few fire engines and firefighters can be seen in the video. Researching the video's keyframes took us to a report by a magazine that showed that this footage was captured in 2016 when a strong wind tore down the scaffolding and the facade of a nine-story under-construction building in Tokyo, Japan. According to a report by Mashable dated April 19, 2016, the video surfaced after the incident occurred near Seiseki Sakuragaoka station in Tokyo. The article also includes a tweet showing a video of the incident from a different angle. A Facebook page named Valiant Japanese Language School shared the video on April 18, 2016. The post's caption read, "April 17th - Tamashi Japan Strong winds. Good thing nobody was hurt and everyone was evacuated."

Another video circulating shows two towers wrapped in white material collapsing to the ground. The tweet's caption by a handle that has now been suspended, read, "Building collapse in Syria after Earthquake." Going through the comments, we found that a user had replied to the video saying it was actually of the twin towers demolition in Noida in 2022. Taking a cue from this, we found footage of the controlled demolition of the Supertech twin towers in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, on Getty Images. The buildings were razed on August 28, 2022, over violations of several norms. We compared the videos and found that they matched, showing that this video had no link to the earthquake in Turkey.

The Verdict

Old videos showing buildings collapsing in different locations have been falsely shared, claiming to be the visuals taken during the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Therefore, we have marked the claims as false.

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