Fact check: Footage of 2018 earthquake in Alaska misused on social media

·3 min read

The claim: A video shows shaking from a July 28 earthquake in Alaska

An 8.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded on July 28 off the coast of Alaska, prompting evacuation warnings and fears of a potential tsunami. It was reportedly one of the strongest in the area since the 1960s.

Now, a viral video circulating on social media claims to depict intense shaking caused by the earthquake.

#BREAKING: 8.2 strong #earthquake rocks the coast of #alaska. #tsunami warning," reads the caption of a July 29 Facebook video. "This is the strngst (sic) #earthquake after 2018. Pray for the people of Alaska."

The video included in the post shows flickering lights, shattered glasses and people screaming.

The Facebook page News Breaking Alerts shared the same video on July 29 with the caption: "Shaking from Alaska earthquake." The video accumulated more than 97,000 views before it was deleted.

Similar versions of the claim were shared to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, where users also suggested the video was captured recently.

“Earthquake in Alaska minutes ago Magnitude 8.1,” one Facebook user wrote along with the video on July 29 in a since-deleted post.

The clip shows the inside of a house in Alaska during an earthquake, but it was not taken on July 28, as the posts claim. The footage is actually from over two years ago.

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USA TODAY reached out the Facebook users for comment.

Video is from 2018

The video circulating online was first uploaded to Twitter by James Easton on Nov. 30, 2018, per Reuters. At the time the video was recorded, a 7.0-magnitude struck near Anchorage, Alaska, causing collapsed roadways, toppled chimneys, shattered glass and other damage.

"Just a little bit shaken this morning," Easton tweeted with the video. His footage was later shared to YouTube by KTOO Public Media and other local media outlets.

Authentic video footage from the earthquake that took place July 28 was shared to Twitter by various news organizations. Residents can be seen evacuating their homes, and sirens are going off in the background.

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The same video has been previously misused to falsely claim it showed the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Alaska's southern coast on Oct. 19, 2020. The posts were debunked by independent fact-checking organizations.

Our rating: False

The claim that a video shows an earthquake in Alaska this year is FALSE, based on our research. The video was taken on Nov. 30, 2018, during an earthquake in Anchorage. The footage is unrelated to the July 28 earthquake and has been previously miscaptioned.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Viral video of Alaska earthquake is from 2018, not recently

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