GWADAR: A rock-like island has emerged some 1.5 kilometers off Gwadar following earthquake, officials say.
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According to DIG Gwadar, a similar island had appeared in Hangal in the coastal area of Lasbela four years ago.
The quake struck at 4:29 pm local time (1129 GMT) around 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Balochistan province, at a depth of 15 kilometres.
USGS originally measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.4 and 29 kilometres deep but later revised their figure. Pakistan’s meteorological office gave the magnitude as 7.7.
On the Gwadar coastline, the quake created a small island about half a mile into the sea near an area called ‘Jhanda’.
The newly appearing island is said to have a mountainous terrain rising up to a hundred feet. A large crowd was seen gathering at the site to see the new island.
The area of the epicentre is sparsely populated, but the USGS issued a red alert for the quake, warning that heavy casualties were likely, based on past data.
A senior Pakistani meteorologist, Muhammad Riaz, told it was a “major” earthquake and “heavy destruction” was likely.
Minor tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, while office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out of buildings and into the street.
Mumtaz Baluch, senior local administration official in Awaran district, 350 kilometres southwest of Quetta, told AFP: “There are reports of houses being collapsed in the district due to earthquake.”
“We have dispatched our teams to the affected area to ascertain the losses.”
In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border.
People working in offices Karachi rushed out of their building and sat on the footpaths along the roads or stood away from the buildings.