A series of massive earthquakes push up a new volcanic island in Pakistan

October 3, 2013 7:48 pm0 commentsViews: 34
Graphic courtesy of cbcnews.com

Graphic courtesy of cbcnews.com

On Sept. 24, a massive earthquake shook Pakistan’s Balochistan area and claimed over 350 lives. Hundreds of people have already died due to previous tremors in the area. While Saturday’s earthquake was recorded as a separate event, there have been 16 aftershocks in the region of Awaran since the first major earthquake on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS further explained that the first quake measured 6.8 in magnitude and occurred about 96km northeast of the city of Awaran. Four days later, another earthquake occurred at a depth of 14.8 km with a 7.7 magnitude. The epicentres of the two tremors were about 30 km apart, according to USGS data.

At least 359 people were killed, and another 765 injured, when Tuesday’s earthquake struck the impoverished region in southwestern Pakistan, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s official figures. The government of Pakistan says that more than 185,000 people have been affected by the tremor, and that rescue and relief activities by the civil administration, in conjunction with the army have begun.

Rescue efforts have been hampered both by the remoteness of the area and by attacks against army convoys allegedly carrying aid by separatist Baloch rebels. Rebels have been fighting the Pakistani state in Balochistan for decades, demanding greater rights for ethnic Baloch and alleging that the federal government does not adequately recompense Balochistan for its natural resources.

Amidst the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 500 people, a new island emerged from the depth of the sea. NASA has released images of the newly formed islet. Called Zalzala Jazeera, meaning “an earthquake island,” the terrestrial formation can now be found 380 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter in Paddi Zirr Bay near Swadar, Pakistan in the Arabian Sea.

The island, made up of hardened mud and rocks, is up to 300 feet high and rises some 60 or 70 feet out of the water. The pressure from the series of earthquakes that spawned the island led to the formation of a “mud volcano” that blasted a slurry of rock and sand out of the earth and through the water, which then formed the island. BBC reported that the news island had been belching poisonous gas.