Video does not show nuclear power plant explosion in Turkey

Clip shows 2020 port explosion in Beirut, Lebanon


Claim: A video shows a nuclear power plant explosion in Turkey after the massive earthquake that hit the country on 6 February 2023.

Fact: The clip is from 2020 and is not related to Turkey at all. In fact, it shows a  massive explosion that ripped through Beirut, Lebanon, on 4 August 2020.

Fact or Fiction?

On 6 February 2023, a Facebook user Jehada Mautante Doblon posted a video claiming that it shows a nuclear power plant explosion in Turkey following a massive earthquake.

The video was accompanied by the following caption:

Nuclear plant exploded due to #earthquake 7.8-magnitude hit in turkey #prayeforturkey #TurkeyEarthquake #deprem #tsunami #syria”

To figure out the origin of the video, Soch Fact Check used Google Reverse Image Search, which led us to reports about the “Beirut explosion” that rattled Lebanon’s capital city on 4 August 2020.

Soch Fact Check ascertained that the news agency Reuters carried photos of the deadly blast, which looks similar to keyframes of the viral video as can be seen in the graphic below.

The article stated that the massive explosion in the Port of Beirut, which killed more than 200 people and wounded thousands, was the most powerful ever to rip through Lebanon’s capital.

Several other outlets, including  Al Jazeera, Voice of America and Associated Press, also reported on the incident. 

Two severe earthquakes — measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter scale — struck southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria in the early morning of 6 February 2023, killing 40,000 people and injuring tens of thousands. A stream of misinformation has been proliferated on social media in the aftermath of the quake.

Turkey’s Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently under construction, was not damaged by the earthquake.


Soch Fact Check found the same video posted here, here, here, here and here on Twitter. 

We also found the video shared here on Facebook, here on Instagram and here on TikTok.

The video was also posted on YouTube; here, here, here, here, here and here.

Conclusion: The viral video has been wrongly linked to the Turkey earthquake. It shows a massive explosion that shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut in August 2020.

Background image in cover photo: Meriç Dağlı

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