Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Buildings Collapsing In Turkey After February 6, 2023, Quake -- Video Was Posted Weeks Earlier

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Buildings Collapsing In Turkey After February 6, 2023, Quake -- Video Was Posted Weeks Earlier Not In Turkey

Does this video show high-rise buildings in Turkey falling after the deadly February 6, 2023, earthquake? No, that's not true: The footage was originally posted on TikTok on January 3, 2023, more than a month before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake created widespread death and destruction in Turkey and Syria. Weather conditions in the video and other details such as what appear to be Chinese characters in banners on the buildings clearly establish that the scenes are not from the earthquake aftermath in Turkey.

The implied claim appeared on Facebook on February 7, 2023 (archived here). The caption read:

Sending my deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those killed, hurt, and affected by this natural calamity in Turkey & Syria. My thoughts and prayers are with those who, due to this natural disaster, are still missing. We pray for a speedy and safe recovery for them.

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

Screenshot 2023-02-09 at 11.10.07 AM.png

Facebook screenshot(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Feb 9 16:16:41 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories found the original footage of buildings being demolished on TikTok, posted on January 3, 2023. The caption of the TikTok read, "Mega demolition! #fyp #viral #viralvideo." The location was listed as Terengganu, Malaysia.

The weather in the Turkey/Syria area hit by the quake is "rain, snow, and temperatures in the 30s," according to The Weather Channel. In contrast, the weather seen in the Facebook video is overall clear. Palm trees can even be seen in the first clip.

There is lettering on the outside of the buildings that appears to be Chinese characters. Evidence of that can be seen at 40 seconds, 50 seconds and 53 seconds (below).

Screenshot 2023-02-09 at 2.19.10 PM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Feb 9 17:20:47 2023 UTC)

About 15 uncompleted buildings were demolished in China simultaneously, as can be seen in a video USA Today published on August 31, 2021.

At the time of writing, the death toll from earthquake had surpassed 20,000 people.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the February 6, 2023, earthquake can be found here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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