Wednesday, September 25, 2013

 

Pakistan earthquake creates new island

Scientists are not yet in consensus, but many believe Pakistan's newest piece of land may be a mud volcano caused by a recent earthquake, according to LiveScience.

Pakistan mud island: People walk on an island that reportedly emerged off the Gwadar: People walk on an island that reportedly emerged off the Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea after a deadly earthquake struck in a remote district in Pakistan's Baluchistan province.
People walk on an island that reportedly emerged off the Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea after a deadly earthquake struck in a remote district in Pakistan's Baluchistan province.

The other possibility is that it was formed from a landslide, Geologist Bob Yeats told LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake shook western Pakistan early Tuesday and made mud houses crumble. According to Reuters, more than 320 people were killed. The death toll is expected to rise as emergency workers progress deeper into the mountains to assess the damage in the remote Baluchistan province.

Meanwhile, on the coast, residents of Gwadar saw a solitary island rise from the sea. 

According to NBC News, "older residents of the coastal town said the land emergence was déjà vu — an earthquake in 1968 produced an island that stayed for one year and then vanished.

Seismologists suspect the island is a temporary formation resulting from "a jet of mud, sand and water that gushed to the surface as the temblor churned and pressurized that slurry under the ocean floor," NBC News said.

The world's most notorious mud volcano, Indonesia's Lusi, destroyed a town in 2006. Science magazine noted that scientists have yet to agree on what caused that deadly mud island.
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