Jeddah building demolition video wrongly linked to Turkey earthquake
Video actually shows a controlled explosion at Old Makkah Road
Claim: A video shows a building collapsing following the Turkey earthquake.
Fact: The video is, in fact, from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and surfaced on the Internet at least a few days before the Turkey earthquake.
On 7 February 2023, Twitter account @Richtasy posted a video showing a building crashing inwards as multiple vehicles are seen on a road in the foreground in broad daylight. The tweet is accompanied by the caption, “God Help #Turkey 🇹🇷 …”.
The Twitter account in question has now changed its name from ‘Turkey Earthquake News’ to ‘Bitcoin 2009’.
Turkey and Syria were hit by two severe earthquakes — measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale — on 6 February 2023, leaving over 19,000 people dead, as of writing time, and flattening hundreds of buildings.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check identified key elements in the video that could point out if it was indeed shot in Turkey or not.
We identified a tanker truck that appears to be similar to those often seen on the roads of the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. We also observed a palm tree, which is commonly seen in the Kingdom as well.
Next, we identified some text on one of the vehicles in the bottom-left corner of the clip; the words are in Arabic. Lastly, we checked the registration number plate on a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that enters the frame later in the video; the number plate is not like the ones that are provided in Turkey.
Another clue is that the building in the video crashed during the daytime, whereas the earthquake hit Turkey — officially known as the Republic of Türkiye — and Syria in the evening and early morning. Moreover, there is no panic among the people seen in the clip.
We also went through the comments under the video, where we found a tweet by user @LGalrao, who wrote: “Fake. That’s the demolition of this building in the Old Makkah Road, Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia”. The individual also provided a link to a YouTube clip where the structure that was demolished is identified before it was brought down, as well as the coordinates of the location in question.
Soch Fact Check created a visual using screenshots from the video above — which is dashcam footage — and Google Maps to identify different shops that appear in the clip and matched them to their respective locations on the map.
The earliest instance of the video that we could find was on 19 January 2023, which was before the earthquakes struck Turkey.
Soch Fact Check concludes that the viral video does not show a building crashing due to the massive earthquakes that hit Turkey on 6 February 2023.
Soch Fact Check found the video here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here on Twitter, here, here, here, here, and here on Facebook, here, here, here, here, and here on TikTok, and here, here, and here on YouTube.
@CNBC_Awaaz, an official, golden-tick Twitter account, also posted the viral video, captioning it as, “#AwaazViralVideo | भूकंप का कहर [The havoc of earthquake],” crediting it to just “Twitter,” and adding hashtags related to the Syria and Turkey earthquakes.
The tweet by @Richtasy has so far been viewed more than 467,400 times, while the video it contains has been watched over 255,500 times.
Conclusion: The video surfaced on the Internet at least a few days before the Turkey earthquake and shows a controlled demolition in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Background image in cover photo: Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez