Two unrelated videos - one of a mine collapse, and another of the aftermath of an earthquake, have been shared on social media with a false claim that they show the aftermath of the recent earthquake that struckTajikistan.
BOOM found that neither of the videos are related to Tajikistan’s earthquake. Our fact-check reveals that the video of the mine collapse is from Alxa Zuoqi, in China's Inner Mongolia from February 2023; while the other video is from the recent earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria.
According to reports, a strong earthquake measured at magnitude 6.8 hit Tajikistan on February 23. The epicenter was said to be about 65 km west of Murghob, near the border with China’s Xinjiang province.
One of the videos, of 33 seconds in length, shows the collapse of a mine, filmed from inside a vehicle. The video has been captioned as, “#earthquake in #China occupied #Tajikistan #Mining collapsed !!”
The tweet is archived here.
Another 25 second long video shared by @currentpak786, a Twitter handle run by a group of Pakistani journalists, shows visuals of damaged houses and cars. The video has been captioned as, “An earthquake of about 7.2 magnitude shook Tajikistan at 8:37am (0037 GMT) on Thursday at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), Chinese state television CCTV reported, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center. #Tajikistan.”
BOOM ran a reverse image search on keyframes of the video which led us to a screengrab of the video tweeted by Twitter handle @chinalaborwatch on February 23, 2023, with a caption in Chinese that reads, “A large-scale collapse of the open-pit coal mine in Alxa Zuoqi, Inner Mongolia has caused 2 deaths, 6 injuries, and 53 people lost contact.”
Further keywords search led us to a number of news reports on the incident.
A report by South China Morning Post from February 22, contained a screengrab from the viral video, which was sourced to Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. The video was uploaded on Sina Weibo on February 22, which was accessed by BOOM through a VPN.
According to a report published on China Daily on February 22, around 7 pm, a vast portion of an outdoor opencast mine in Alshaa Left Banner, located in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, collapsed on Wednesday (February 22) afternoon. The incident has buried both workers and vehicles. More than 50 people were trapped under the mine reported after primary investigation.
A reverse search on the video led us to a Turkish Twitter user who posted the video on February 8 this year. The video was also uploaded on Dailymotion and YouTube claiming to show the aftermath of Turkey’s earthquake.
Geo-location of the video
A closer look at the viral video shows a board with the text, 'BASMANLAR'. A search on Google Maps led us to a shop named 'Basmanlar kasap ve fırını", which is located in "15 Cumhuriyet Mh. Yolu Antakya, Hatay". We used Google Street View to compare the area with that in the viral video, and found several close matches in the building structures, thus confirming that the video was indeed shot in Turkey.
According to latest reports published by AP News, over 43,000 people died after an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, followed by series of aftershocks. A fresh earthquake of 5.5 magnitude was also reported on February 25, at central region of the country.
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