Fact Check: Major Tsunami Did NOT Hit Turkey After February 6, 2023, Earthquake

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Major Tsunami Did NOT Hit Turkey After February 6, 2023, Earthquake Old Video

Did a major tsunami hit Turkey soon after the February 6, 2023, earthquake? No, that's not true: Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency reported on February 6, 2023, that there was no danger of a tsunami striking the country's Eastern Mediterranean coastline. The International Tsunami Information Center gave Lead Stories a report that showed no significant rise in sea levels. Posts making the claim that a tsunami battered Turkey are using old footage from other countries' disasters.

An example of the claim appeared in a post on Facebook on February 6, 2023. It included a short video, an appeal for donations and a caption that read:

Tsunami Hits Turkey Shore.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of the writing of this fact check:

image - 2023-02-07T113617.323.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Feb 7 15:51:51 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out to the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) to ask about the post's claim. In an email, dated February 7, 2023, ITIC Director Laura Kong wrote:

We have confirmed observations of small tsunami waves generated from the main M7.8 (USGS) earthquake in Türkiye. The reports come from the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI), Bogazici University, Çengelköy Üsküdar İstanbul Türkiye, which serves as the National Tsunami Warning Centre for Türkiye, and a Regional Earthquake Tsunami Monitoring Center (Tsunami Service Provider, TSP) for the Mediterranean.
Kong sent a copy of the report, which noted that the amplitude of the highest measured wave was just 17 centimeters, or less than seven inches. Kong added that there is no minimum height for a tsunami as it is a wave, and waves can be measured whether big or small.

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023.

Following the quake and its unusually strong aftershock, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) sought to assuage fears of a tsunami, reporting on Twitter that there was no danger of a tsunami striking the country's Mediterranean coast.

Its full tweet can be read below:

Posts claiming that a major tsunami struck Turkey in the wake of the February 6 quake relied on old footage from other disasters.

For example, the Facebook post mentioned above included video from 2018, when a deadly tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Another post, seen here, used video filmed on a beach in Durban, South Africa, in 2017.

Other Lead Stories fact checks concerning the Turkey earthquake can be found here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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