September 27, 2013PAKISTAN – Pakistan has just got three brand new islands — thanks to a major earthquake. When the shock of the temblor subsided on Tuesday, people living in the coastal town of Gwadar were stunned to see a new island in the sea.  That’s not all. Two other islands have come up along the Balochistan coast. “The island near Gwadar is about 600 feet in diameter and has a height of about 30 feet,” Muhammad Moazzam Khan, technical advisor at WWF Pakistan, told IANS over telephone. He said “gas was coming out” of the island, which primarily consists of “stones and soft mud.” The two islands near Ormara town are small.  Khan said the islands had a diameter of about “30-40 feet and a height of about 2-3 feet. Gas is also coming out,” he said. He said that while some islands which form suddenly “stay on,” others gradually fade away. He explained that the islands were formed following the massive earthquake that rocked Balochistan province Tuesday.  The death toll in the 7.7-magnitude earthquake has reached 348, and a total of 20,000 houses were destroyed. This is not the first time islands have formed off the Pakistan coast. “In 1945, two big islands had formed near the coast. One was two kilometers long while the other was half kilometer long,” said Khan. –Times of India
Methane dangers: A match was put to the fissures from where methane was rising. “We put the fire out in the end, but it was quite a hassle. Not even the water could kill it, unless one poured buckets over it,” the resident said. Muhammad Danish, a marine biologist from Pakistans National Institute of Oceanography, told PressTV a team of experts landed on the island yesterday and found methane gas. “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. Exactly how much methane is accumulated within the mud is unknown, he said, but the risk of explosion is very real. –News