Video shows controlled demolition in China, not Taiwan earthquake

4 April 2024
What was claimed

A video shows buildings collapsing in Taiwan due to the recent earthquake.

Our verdict

False. This is an old video showing a controlled demolition of 15 high-rise buildings in China in 2021.

A video is being shared online with claims it shows high-rise buildings collapsing in Taiwan due to a recent earthquake in the country. But it actually shows a controlled demolition in China in 2021. 

The footage shows multiple tower blocks collapsing into clouds of dust with dramatic music and includes the sound of people reacting in the background. It has been shared on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) with captions including: “Houses of cards collapse: An entire block of unfinished houses collapsed as a result of an earthquake in Taiwan. Death toll from Taiwan earthquake rises to 934 - local media”. 

An earthquake struck Taiwan’s eastern county of Hualien on 3 April with a magnitude of 7.2, according to the country’s earthquake monitoring agency. At the time of writing, 10 people are reported to have been killed and an estimated 660 people are trapped by rubble.

But this video does not show scenes from Taiwan. It actually shows a controlled demolition of 15 unfinished high-rise buildings in China’s southwestern city, Kunming, in September 2021. It appeared online before the recent earthquake in Taiwan and there are many other videos showing the same buildings being demolished from different angles. 

Miscaptioned videos and images are a common form of misinformation we see online, especially during significant global events such as natural disasters, civil unrest and armed conflict

It’s always worth considering whether a post shows what it claims to show before sharing it online and our guides on spotting misleading images and videos can help you to do this. 

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