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Turkey’s 2020 image falsely linked to recent earthquake in Pakistan

Image of rescue workers standing near collapsed building is from Turkey

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Claim: An image on social media shows rescue workers standing in front of a collapsed building after a sizable earthquake hit several countries, including Pakistan, on 21 March 2023.

Fact: The claim is, in fact, false as the picture is from a 2020 earthquake in Turkey.

On Tuesday evening, a powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake jolted Afghanistan and Pakistan, with tremors felt as far as the Indian capital New Delhi.

In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, at least nine people were killed and 44 injured, and 19 houses were partially damaged during the earthquake, as reported by Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), KP.

In the context of this earthquake, a Twitter user @azharkaasifzai posted an image showing rescue workers standing near the rubble of a collapsed building. The tweet was captioned as follows:

شدید ترین زلزلے سے خیبرپختونخوا کے شمالی علاقوں میں تباہیاں ہونے کی اطلاعات، سوات، شانگلہ و دیگر علاقوں میں سیدو ہسپتال، چارسدہ ہسپتال میں متعدد زخمیوں کو لایا گیا۔

[Translated: Reports of devastation are arriving from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s northern regions as a result of a powerful earthquake. In Swat, Shangla, and other locations, several injured persons were sent to Saidu Hospital and Charsadda Hospital.]

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check ascertained through reverse image search tools that the picture is old and does not show the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Pakistan.

A reverse image search lead to an image published by the stock image website Alamy on 25 January 2020. The image caption reads, “Rescue workers search on a collapsed building after an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey, January 25, 2020.” 

The same image was also featured by Daily Mail UK with the caption “Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020.”

Virality

Soch Fact Check found that the same images were shared on Facebook within hours of the earthquake. The archived versions can be seen here, here, here, and here.

On Twitter, the image received 19.5k views, 300 retweets and 600 likes. The archived versions can be seen here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The image showing rescue workers standing in front of a collapsed building is from a 2020 earthquake in Turkey.

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