Claim: A photo shows a giant crack in a road in Swat’s Shangla region after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit northwestern areas of Pakistan on 21 March 2023.

Fact: The image is more than four years old and has nothing to do with the March 2023 earthquake.

On 21 March 2023, Twitter user @Alitanveer597 tweeted a picture (archive) with the following caption:

“سوات کے علاقے شانگلہ میں زلزلے سے سڑک پھٹ گئی”
[In Swat’s Shangla region, the road was damaged by the earthquake]

The tweet was accompanied by the hashtag #Earthquake and was posted shortly after the northwestern areas of Pakistan experienced a 6.5-magnitude earthquake, at precisely 9:49 PM (archive), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

At least nine people were killed and 44 injured, according to a government official quoted in this report (archive).

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check ascertained using reverse image search tools that the photo is not recent but from an earthquake that hit Mirpur, Kashmir, on 24 September 2019 (archive).

We found the original picture (archive) on Getty Images, where it is credited to photographer Aamir Qureshi. It was also published by The Guardian (archive) and (archive) in their respective reports on 25 September 2019.

The following caption accompanies the photograph on Getty Images:

“TOPSHOT – A news cameraman films a damaged road following an earthquake on the outskirts of Mirpur on September 24, 2019. – At least 19 people have been killed and 300 wounded after a shallow earthquake rattled north-eastern Pakistan, a senior police officer said, with the tremor tearing car-sized cracks into roads and heavily damaging infrastructure. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP)”


Soch Fact Check found the image posted here on Twitter, here, here, and here on Facebook, and here, here, and here in YouTube thumbnail photos.

Conclusion: The image is from 2019, when an earthquake hit Mirpur, Kashmir; it has nothing to do with the March 2023 quake.

Background image in cover photo: Shefali Lincoln

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