Pakistan earthquake creates new island off the country’s south coast
A 7.7 Richter scale powerful earthquake that shook the Awaran district in south-western Pakistan on Tuesday afternoon has created a new island near the country’s southern coast.
The earthquake struck at 4.29pm local time at a depth of 15km. The US geological survey has said the epicentre fell in a remote, thinly populated mountainous area of Balochistan.
Tremors were felt across the country, as well as in Dubai and as far away as 740 miles in the Indian capital of New Delhi.
Yesterday’s earthquake was so strong that it caused the sea bed to rise, creating a small island in the Arabian sea near the port of Gwadar, 75 kilometres east of the Iran-Pakistan border.
It has been reported that the island is around 200 metres long, 100m wide and 20m high and such land masses have appeared and disappeared with heavy rains and winds along the Balochistan coastline.
Jan Muhammed Buledi, a spokesperson for the Balochistan government, said: “A total of six districts that include – Awaran, Kech, Panjgur, Chaghi and Khuzdar and a population of over 300,000 have been affected by the earthquake.”
At least 208 people are reported to have been killed and over 382 injured. The Pakistani military has commenced rescue operations and an emergency red alert has been declared in the region with many people still trapped under the rubble of buildings.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest but least populated province. Mr Buledi said: “The area lacks medical facilities and there is no space to treat injured people in the local hospitals. Many are being treated in the neighbouring districts and some airlifted to Karachi.”
The Balochistan region is prone to earthquakes. In April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake centred in neighbouring Iran killed 41 people and affected more than 12,00 on the Pakistan side of the border.