FALSE: This video isn’t of a magnitude 11.9 earthquake that hit California in 2023

September 22, 2023

The video is of an earthquake in Japan on 11 March 2011.

This Facebook post with a video, purportedly of a magnitude 11.9 earthquake in California, United States, in 2023, is FALSE.

The footage on the post is dated “24/08/23”. The California state flag is on the top left-corner of the video.

A section of the video has the words, “NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station”, on the bottom-right corner.

A Google search for the keywords “NHK Sendai Broadcasting Station earthquake” established that the footage is from a 2021 documentary by NHK World Prime, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Japan’s 2011 mega-earthquake.

The documentary is titled, 3/11 — The Tsunami: The First 3 Days, and has the description: “Using footage shot at the center of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, we bring you a story of horror and heroism during one of history’s worst catastrophes. Vast areas along Japan’s Pacific coast were devastated.”

The description continues: “Entire communities were washed away and residents were forced to evacuate. An accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant created a radioactive no-man’s-land. But in the days that followed, amid the chaos and confusion, countless people sprang into action to assist victims and search for survivors.”

Other than a magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit Southern California north of Los Angeles on 20 August 2023, there is no evidence of an earthquake on 24 August 2023.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the largest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.5 on 22 May 1960 in Chile, on a fault almost 1,000 miles long. The mapping agency also notes that “earthquakes of magnitude 10 or larger cannot happen.”

PesaCheck has looked into a Facebook post with a video, purportedly of a magnitude 11.9 earthquake that shook California in 2023, and finds it to be FALSE.

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