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Fact Check: Old Videos From Nepal, Turkiye Falsely Linked To Recent Earthquake In Tajikistan

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Weeks after jolting Turkiye and Syria, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Tajikistan on Thursday. The tremor reportedly struck around 5.37 am local time at a depth of about 20.5 kilometres. A series of aftershocks were also reported in the area.Soon after, social media platforms were filled with unverified visuals allegedly showing the intensity of the earthquake in Tajikistan and its aftermath. Newschecker investigated two such videos and found them to be unrelated to the Tajikistan quake.

Claim 1: Visuals From Recent Tajikistan Earthquake

CCTV footage showing traffic on a road coming to a standstill on experiencing tremors is going viral on Twitter, with users claiming that it captured the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here and here.

Also Read: Unrelated Videos Shared As Recent Earthquake In Tajikistan

Fact Check/Verification

On scanning through the comment sections of the posts carrying the viral footage, we spotted several users pointing that the clip is actually from Nepal, and not Tajiskatn. 

Screengrabs from Twitter

Additionally, we noticed that the time stamp on the top right corner of the screen read, “2015-04-25,” and “tripureshwor-2” written on the left side.

Earthquake In Tajikistan
Screengrabs from viral video | Courtesy: Twitter@PhukanPradhuman

Taking a clue, we looked up keywords “Nepal,” “Tripureshwor,” “Earthquake” & “2015” on YouTube which led us to a video by WildFilmsIndia, dated February 14, 2020.

Around 1:09 minutes into the video, we spotted the viral clip that is being shared to show the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Screengrab from YouTube video by WildFilmsIndia

The description of the video read, “Tripureshwor Chowk in Kathmandu is shaken up by the infamous Nepal Gorkha earthquake of 2015. Watch the CCTV footage as the earthquake hits the streets and is felt by both people and objects on the streets. A car escapes a falling statue by a split second while the sudden jerk throws off a couple from their motorbike right after the statue falls. Panicked residents come out of homes and their vehicles after the sudden and powerful tremor…”

We looked up “Tripureshwor Chowk Kathmandu” on Google Earth View, and were able to geo-locate the location where the video was taken. The same can be seen here. A comparison between the Google Image of the location (from June 2014) and visuals seen in the viral clip can be seen below.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab from Google Earth View

Hence, an old video from Nepal is being falsely linked to the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Claim 2: Visuals Showing Aftermath Of Recent Tajikistan Earthquake

A video shot from inside a car passing through a lane of semi-demolish buildings and their rubble is doing the rounds online. Several users shared the footage alleging that it shows the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here, here, here and here.

Fact Check/Verification

A Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to a video uploaded on DailyMotion on February 8, 2023

Screengrab from DailyMotion website

Carrying a slightly longer version of the viral clip, it stated, “ 50 hours have passed after two major earthquakes in Turkey (Turkiye) and there are still people under the rubble. food shelter heating etc. There are people in need of help.A large number of aid continues to go to the earthquake area”

Further, we found that the video was shared with similar captions on YouTube on February 8, 2023. It was also posted on Twitter by @Eren50855570 on the same day, who further pointed out that the video was shot in Hatay.

Screengrab from tweet by @Eren50855570

Additionally, we found a report by Dimsum Daily Hong Kong, dated February 18, 2023. Carrying a screengrab from the viral video, the report elaborated “Three survivors were rescued on Saturday from the ruins in southern Türkiye 296 hours after the deadly earthquake hit the region. According to reports from local media, search and rescue teams in central Antakya district of Hatay found and finally rescued three survivors from a destroyed building more than 12 days after the earthquake…”

(L-R) Screengrab from dimsumdaily.hk and screengrab from viral video

We could hence conclude that the video has been available online at least 2 weeks before an earthquake hit Tajikistan on February 23, 2022.

We continued our investigation to ascertain the exact location seen in the video. On analysing the video, we spotted several hoardings with some text written on them. Notably, the text on one such hoarding, seen in the last few frames of the longer version of the clip, read “BASMANLAR.”

Screengrab from viral video

Following this, we looked up “BASMANLAR Hatay” on Google Maps, and were able to locate one of the buildings seen in the viral video at 118 Cumhuriyet Mh. Yolu Antakya, Hatay.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab from Google Street View

Further, we looked up the address on Google Earth View, and were able to find the exact location seen in the viral clip, confirming that it was actually shot in Hatay.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab from Google Street View

Hence, a video from Hatay, Turkiye is being shared to show the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that old footage from Nepal and Turkey are being falsely linked to the recent earthquake in Tajikistan.

Result: False

Sources

YouTube Video By WildFilmsIndia, Dated February 14, 2020
Tweet By @Eren50855570, Dated February 8, 2023
Google Earth View
Google Street View
Self Analysis


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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