Over 46,000 people have been killed and thousands have been left injured after a devastating earthquake measuring 7.8 in the Richter scale struck Turkey and Syria last week. While the search and rescue operations are still on, social media users are now claiming that the deadly temblor was a result of the US using High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).
used A twitter user @Emaldee was among those who shared the video showing what appears to be lightning in a dark sky, with the caption ‘How earthquakes can be man made using HAARP – prayers for Turkey and Syria’.
Several other users sharing different images and videos have claimed the same. Link to the tweets here, here, here, here and here.
The claim is also viral on Facebook. Link to the posts can be seen here, here, here and here.
What is HAARP?
According to the University of Alaska ‘The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, is a scientific endeavour aimed at studying the properties and behaviour of the ionosphere. “The ionosphere stretches roughly 50 to 400 miles above Earth’s surface, right at the edge of space. Along with the neutral upper atmosphere, the ionosphere forms the boundary between Earth’s lower atmosphere where we live and breathe and the vacuum of space’.
Fact Check/ Verification
To check the authenticity of the claim, Newschecker first performed a google search on the keywords ‘HAARP, Turkey Syria Earthquake’. We found a report on Geo News website stating that there social media users are claiming online that the Turkey Syria earthquake was manmade, triggered by US using the HAARP, but also mentioned that no authorities in Turkey ever made such an allegation.
“All the allegations and remarks come from social media users and no Turkish official has recorded any such statement. Therefore, the United States has not responded to the accusations”, the report stated.
“The research programme currently at the centre of the rumours has not claimed anywhere to have the power to induce quakes. In October 2022, HAARP began its largest set of experiments at its new observatory but did not mention earthquakes”, the report claimed.
During the research we came across a study report about Turkey Syria Earthquake on a London based Science Media Centre website wherein scientists have clearly denied of having any human or technology involvement in earthquakes including the Turkey earthquake.
“There are no credible or possible linkages between the high-frequency active auroral research programme (HAARP) and the causation of earthquakes of any magnitude, including the most recent tragic 6 February 2023 earthquake in Turkey. HAARP is a research programme devoted to studying the ionosphere, which is part of the Earth’s upper atmosphere (about 48 to 965 km above sea level). There is no known physical mechanism possible where the HAARP could have caused the earthquakes, and any claims of such linkages fall well outside the scope of the natural sciences. Any advocates of such linkages, such as conspiracy theorists, should be ignored and their claims treated as false news”, the study reads.
To verify more, we then reached out to Professor Jonathan Stewart, a civil and environmental engineering professor at UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in Los Angeles. He said that the Turkey and Syria earthquake was natural one and there was no human involvement.
“Humans can induce earthquakes in certain circumstances, such as via the filling of reservoirs for the first time or by injecting pressurized fluids deep into ground as in the case of some earthquakes in Oklahoma. These earthquakes tend to be small (up to mid-magnitude 5s). The earthquakes in Turkey were not induced by humans, but are natural earthquakes associated with a known major fault zone”, he confirmed.
Thus, we conclude that the Turkey Syria earthquake was natural and there was no human interference and that the claim of the temblor being induced with the help of HAARP is false.
Report by Geo News
Research by Science Media Centre
Phonic Conversation with Professor Jonathan Stewart
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