False: Videos show the aftermath of the Tajikistan earthquake.

By: Rajini KG
March 1 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
False: Videos show the aftermath of the Tajikistan earthquake.


The Verdict False

Videos from Turkey of rescue efforts and of the destruction caused by the earthquake early February have been wrongly linked to Tajikistan.

Claim ID e4574a0b


On February 23, 2023, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Tajikistan. The disaster's epicenter was near the Chinese border and was also felt in China's western Xinjiang region, where the magnitude was 7.2. Following this, many videos related to the Tajikistan earthquake circulated on social media; however, many are not actually from Tajikistan. One such video shows a child being saved by rescuers wearing clothes with Tajikistan written on their backs. It was posted on February 23, 2023, with the caption, "Get well soon Tajikistan God help you #Tacikistan #earthquake." The video has nearly 65,000 views and 188 likes. A post sharing another video shows footage of damaged buildings shot from a moving vehicle. The post, which has now been deleted, read: "Take a look at the aftermath of Tajikistan’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake. This marks the FOURTH Asian earthquake in the past week." The post had garnered at least 208,300 views and 1,398 likes before it was removed.

In Fact

Through a reverse image search, we found that both the videos were captured in early February 2023 when Tajikistan had not experienced any earthquake tremors. We found a longer video of a child being rescued on a YouTube channel called ‘Television of Tajikistan’. The video captured scenes from a different angle and was posted on February 13, 2023. The video has a Russian title that read: "Tajik rescuers pulled a three-year-old boy out of the rubble / earthquake in Turkey." The video description says Yavuz, a three-year-old boy, was found and rescued by Tajik rescuers on February 12 in the Onikisubat neighborhood of Kahramanmarash in Turkey. At 0:13 seconds, we can observe that the child’s clothes match the ones worn by the rescued kid in the viral video. Also, Tajikistan rescuers wearing the same red gloves and the same Tajiskitan jackets can be seen in both videos. Also, a soldier wearing a grey winter cap and a blue surgical mask can be spotted in both videos. Therefore, this confirms the video is from Turkey and not Tajikistan.

Further, the Architecture and Construction Committee under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan had reported the news on February 13. It cited the image from the incident and reported that in the Onikisubat district of Kahramanmaras, Turkey, Tajik rescuers had saved a three-year-old boy called Yavuz. The boy spent 158 hours buried beneath the debris. Anadolu Agency, a Turkey news agency, also reported about the same incident and cited a different image from the same incident. 

The second viral video that shows damaged buildings and debris captured from a moving vehicle was found on Twitter with a post shared on February 8, 2023. Twitter user Halil İbrahim Kızıldağ had posted the same video with a Turkish caption: "Hatay/Antakya Küçük Dalyan location does not have a solid structure, almost 95% of the streets are like this. #Hatay #antakyahatay #hatayyardimbekliyor." In the following tweet, she stated that the video was taken by her in Antaky, Hatay province, Turkey. We also found the video on Daily Motion, posted on February 8, 2023, titled: "50 hours have passed after two major earthquakes in Turkey." Therefore, it confirms that the video has been on social media since February 8, 2023, and predates the earthquake that hit Tajikistan on February 23.

Turkey was hit by a massive earthquake on February 6, 2023 along with Syria. According to the latest Reuters report, Turkish authorities have put the death toll of the earthquake above 45,000 and estimated that at least 108,000 people were left injured in the disaster, which was the first in the series of three earthquakes that hit the country in just three weeks.

The verdict

Videos taken in different locations of Turkey after the February 6 earthquake have been misinterpreted to be from Tajikistan. Therefore, we mark these claims false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

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