New island created by earthquake
[The 7.7 Richter earthquake in Pakistan] was so powerful it also created something – a small island around 600 metres off Pakistan’s Gwadar coastline, in the Arabian Sea.
People gathered on the beach to catch a glimpse of the new island, reportedly 200-metres long and 100-metres wide.
Mohammad Danish, a marine biologist from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography, said a team of experts had visited the island and found methane gas rising.
“Our team found bubbles rising from the surface of the island which caught fire when a match was lit and we forbade our team to start any flame. It is methane gas,” Danish said on GEO television news.
The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 metres) high, up to 300 feet wide and up to 120 feet long, he said. It sits about 200 metres away from the coast.
Gary Gibson, a seismologist with Australia’s University of Melbourne, said the new island was likely to be a “mud volcano”, created by methane gas forcing material upwards during the violent shaking of the earthquake.
“It’s happened before in that area but it’s certainly an unusual event, very rare,” Gibson told AFP, adding that it was “very curious” to see such activity some 400 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.
The so-called island is not a fixed structure but a body of mud that will be broken down by wave activity and dispersed over time, the scientist said.
The Hindu reported about the quake:
The Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps are engaged in a major rescue operation as the toll in the powerful earthquake that shook Awaran and parts of Balochistan and Sindh on Tuesday claimed over 300 lives, and injured over 400.The chairperson of the National Disaster Management Authority Maj General Muhammed Saeed Aleem said the main damage was in Awaran, near the epicenter of the quake which measured 7.7 on the Richter scale.
Spokesperson of the Balochistan government Jan Muhammed Buledi told The Hindu on the phone on Wednesday that the toll was rising rapidly as information was coming in slowly from the remote areas of Awaran. Till now about 328 people were confirmed dead in the quake and in the two districts of Awaran and Kech there was 80 per cent damage.
About 5000 tents were provided to the people and the rescue operation is expected to last another two days at least, he said. Awaran is a large district with an area of 30,000 sq km and last night troops of the Pakistan Army and the Frontier Corps were dispatched to the far flung areas to retrieve bodies trapped in the rubble. An official statement said so far 174 wounded persons have been evacuated from different areas to the district hospital, Awaran.