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Photos of Lightning Storm Were Not Taken in Turkey

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
21st February 2023
Photos of Lightning Storm Were Not Taken in Turkey
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake Hatay (Twitter)

The Claim

Two photos show a blue flash in the sky moments before the new earthquake struck Turkey and Syria.

Emerging story

Following the recent earthquake that hit Turkey, Syria, and other nearby countries, social media users circulated two photos purporting to show a blue flash in the sky moments before the earthquake occurred in Turkey and Syria.

According to social media users, this phenomenon was observed by residents of the Syrian city of Latakia and the border regions of Turkey.

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Misbarโ€™s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating photos and found the claim to be misleading.

After conducting a thorough reverse image search, Misbarโ€™s team found the photos making the rounds to be outdated and unrelated to the Turkey earthquakes.

โ€œEarthquake Lightsโ€ Photos Are from Mexico, Not Turkey

The first circulating photo was taken from a video clip showing a rare lightning storm flashing across the Mexican sky during an earthquake.

In September 2021, the video was published by the Independent after a powerful 7-magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico.

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At the time, the same photo was also published on a website called Explorers Web. 

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As for the second photo, in September 2017, the BBC uploaded the same photo to a published article about the mysterious flashes of light seen in the sky over Mexico during the 2017 earthquake.

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The BBC hinted that the same mysterious flashes reappeared in the September 2021 earthquake that hit Mexico again at the time.

What Caused the Lights Seen Over Mexico?

According to a statement from the Seismological Association of the United States, these lights are referred to as "earthquake lights" and have been observed since the 1600s.

The accumulation of electrical charge in clouds is what causes the majority of lightning strikes to occur in the sky. 

However, research conducted in a lab at Rutgers University suggests that the increase in electrical charge in the soil that occurs when cracks in the earth emerge is what actually triggers these lights.

A New Earthquake Hit Turkey and Syria

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the southern Turkish province of Hatay and northern Syria two weeks after being devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people.

According to Turkish monitor Kandilli, the epicenter was in the Turkish province of Samandagi, although it was also felt in Syria,Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine, according to media reports.

At least six individuals have died as a result of the February 20 earthquakes that occurred in Turkey and Syria.

294 individuals were injured, according to the head of Turkey's disaster and emergency management authority.

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Misbarโ€™s Classification


Misbarโ€™s Sources

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