Claim: A video shows a giant sea wave hitting a beach in Turkey following an earthquake that hit the country on 6 February 2023.

Fact: The clip is from 2017 and not related to Turkey at all. In fact, it shows a monster wave that slammed the North Beach in Durban in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province on 12 March 2017.

In the morning of 6 February 2023, two powerful earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, killing over 1,300 people — though fatalities are expected to rise — and levelling hundreds of buildings. Some reports state that the quake of magnitude 7.8 is the worst to hit Turkey since 1999. 

The same day, Indian journalist Harish Deshmukh tweeted a video claiming to show a tsunami in Turkey, which was hit by a massive earthquake in the early hours of the morning, killing over 1,000 people and leaving hundreds of buildings flattened.

Deshmukh captioned the tweet, “#Tsunami and Earthquake in Turkey”, and included multiple trending hashtags.

Fact or Fiction?

To figure out the origin of the video, Soch Fact Check used Google Reverse Image Search and Yandex Reverse Image Search, which led us to reports about “monster waves” that battered the North Beach in Durban, a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, on 12 March 2017.

The images and videos of the giant waves hitting Durban’s beachfront promenade were published by South African newspaper The Citizen, blog SAPeople, YouTube channels Connect News SA and AA Video Productions, radio channel CapeTalk 567.

Moreover, at the time of publishing, no reliable news publications have reported on a tsunami in Turkey.

No tsunami warnings have been issued by Ankara, although Italy did issue one but later withdrew it.

On the other hand, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) said there is “currently no tsunami threat to [the] Eastern Mediterranean” following the earthquakes.

Virality

Soch Fact Check found that the tweet by Deshmukh — who works for Zee Bihar Jharkhand and has a legacy-verified Twitter account — was viewed over 216,000 times.

The video in the tweet received over 103,800 views, while the post received 70 comments, 298 retweets, and 582 likes, as of writing time.

Conclusion: The clip shows a monster wave that slammed the North Beach in Durban in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province on 12 March 2017. It is not related to Turkey at all.


Background image in cover photo: Osman Köycü

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