An old video from Balkhash, Kazakhstan is being shared falsely claiming that it is recent from Türkiye showing bright strange lights in the night sky just before the devastating earthquake that hit the country on February 6, 2023.
Three quakes of 7.8, 7.6 and 6.0, hit Türkiye’s southern regions on February 6, 2023, causing widespread destruction in the country and in neighbourng Syria. Another 5.6 tremor struck on Tuesday as well. The death toll at the time of writing this fact-check was reported to be around more than 23000 people.
In the viral video which is around 34 seconds long, a bright light glows in the sky. This is being shared with the caption, "Before Turkey Earthquake"
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The same video is being shared with the false claim on Facebook.
BOOM was able to geo-locate the viral video to Balkhash, Kazakhstan. We were able to establish that the video is old dating back to atleast September 2022 and not related to the quake that hit Türkiye recently.
On checking the replies to the tweet with the viral video, we found several users pointing out that the incident is from Kazakhstan and claiming that it is from a rocket launch.
A tweet from a handle (@catascah) posted on October 7, 2022, had posted the same viral video with the caption, "Baikonur Cosmodrome - Southern Kazakhstan 06/10/2022"
The visuals and sequence of events in this video match the viral video which shows that it is not recent.
Taking a hint that it is from Kazakhstan, we then ran a reverse image search using Yandex after breaking the video into keyframes. The search results showed Telegram posts with the same video and the caption, "Балкаш. Суббота." posted on September 25, 2022.
The translation of the caption to English reads "Balkhash. Saturday". Balkhash is located in Kazakhstan, and on searching on Google maps we were able to geo locate the exact location.
On comparing the location seen in the viral video with the street view, we can see that both the locations match which shows that it is from the same place. The Google Maps photos are from February 2021.
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