Video does not show Turkish nuclear plant exploding due to earthquake

7 February 2023
What was claimed

Footage shows a nuclear plant in Turkey exploding as a result of the recent earthquake.

Our verdict

False. The footage shows an explosion that occurred in Beirut in 2020.

A video posted to Facebook claims to show a nuclear plant exploding as a result of the earthquake which struck Turkey and Syria on 6 February 2023

The post features a five-second video which initially shows a column of thick smoke rising from a building that appears to be part of a port complex, followed by a huge explosion

The footage is actually of an explosion at a fertiliser storage facility in the port of Beirut, Lebanon, which took place on 4 August 2020

Footage identical to that in the Facebook post was broadcast by Sky News two years ago, when the port exploded. 

The United Nations says the blast killed more than 200 people and left more than 7,000 injured, 300,000 people homeless, and severely damaged a large part of the Lebanese capital.

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Turkey does not yet have a finished nuclear power station

According to the World Nuclear Organisation, Turkey has four nuclear power plants in various stages of construction but none of them are operational yet. 

Reports from Reuters say the plant that is closest to completion was not damaged in the earthquake. 

We have previously seen videos from the Beirut port explosion being shared with claims that they show events in Ukraine

We have looked at several misleading videos that have been shared on social media claiming to show the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and its aftermath. Often during a crisis people share these posts in good faith, but it’s a good idea to check they’re real before resharing, and not share if you’re not sure.

For general help on what to look out for, see our guide on how to spot misleading videos online.

Image courtesy of Vladyslav Cherkasenko

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