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Viral video showing alleged nuclear plant explosion in Turkey pre-dates Monday’s earthquake

Claim: Social media users are sharing a video of an explosion and claiming it happened during Monday’s earthquake in Turkey.

Verdict: False! The video is of an explosion incident in Beirut, Lebanon which occurred on August 4, 2020, and not in Turkey.

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On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. This tragic incident has left thousands dead and many more injured.

According to The World Health Organization, up to 23 million people could be affected by Monday’s disaster.

The disaster has become a topical global issue on social media, with many users sharing images and videos, making allegations that they are associated with the earthquake.

In one such video, there is a massive explosion. Some users sharing this video claim that it shows the destruction of a nuclear plant in Turkey.

Several accounts have shared this video which over 140,000 viewers have viewed. These can be found here, here and here.

A scene from a viral video with users claiming it originates from Monday’s earthquake.


With the assistance of the InVID video verification tool, we conducted several reverse image searches that generated results linked to news publications about the 2020 Beirut explosion in Lebanon. 

A report by Al-Jazeera estimated that the explosion, which occurred on August 4, 2020, killed at least 218 people, injuring 7,000 and leaving about 300,000 displaced.

“The blast, considered one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions to have been recorded, damaged 77,000 apartments and caused an estimated $3.8-4.6bn in material damage,” the publication indicated.

On YouTube, we found some videos about the Beirut disaster that had similar scenes as the ones that have gone viral on the internet, with users suggesting that it happened in Turkey. Sky News posted one such video on August 5, 2020.

As can be seen, there are significant similarities between the two videos.

What’s the latest with the Turkey earthquake?

Rescue operations are ongoing after Monday’s disaster.

Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor, is said to have been rescued “with injuries” and rushed to the hospital for healthcare. A day later, there was a u-turn in which club officials said their earlier information was false, and Atsu remained missing.

It is estimated that at least 4,800 people were killed in the incident. 


The viral video of a nuclear plant explosion claimed to have happened in Turkey during Monday’s earthquake is false. The video instead comes from an explosion incident that occurred in Lebanon.

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