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article imageDeadly earthquake creates new island in Pakistan

By Leo Reyes     Sep 26, 2013 in Environment
A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 struck off south-central Pakistan Tuesday killing more than 200 people in the district of Awaran and nearby areas near the epicenter of the deadly earthquake.
The Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the epicenter of the quake was located 69 km north of Awaran, Pakistan and 270 km north of the capital city of Karachi.
Reuters reported that the death toll has risen to 327 following the collapse of mud houses in the affected areas.
"Two hundred and eighty-five bodies have so far been recovered in the Awaran district," Abdul Rasheed Gogazai, the deputy commissioner of Awaran, the worst affected town, with a population of about 200,000, told Reuters.
The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers are struggling to reach the remote areas where residents may have been trapped or injured.
"As far as the human eye can see, all the houses here have been flattened,"Mohammad Shabir, a journalist, told Reuters.
The earthquake was so strong that it pushed a land mass to rise from the surface of the earth, creating a small island 600 meters off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea.
Navy geologist Mohammed Danish, who was at the newly-created island on Wednesday said the mass was about 60 feet (18 meters) high, 100 feet (30 meters) long and 250 feet (76 meters) wide.
TV footages show a group of people walking on the surface of the small island formation which is mostly made of rocks and sand-like particles.
Zahid Rafi, principal seismologist for the National Seismic Monitoring Center, said such masses are sometimes created by the movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface in something akin to a mud volcano. The Daily Mail writes.
Residents in the area say the new island could disappear in the future, recalling that a similar island formation happened after an earthquake struck in the area in 1968 but vanished after a year.
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