A major, magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck southern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 45 people and destroying many homes in the remote, mountainous Awaran District. Amazingly, the earthquake may have also caused a new island to rise from the sea off the Gwadar coastline.
US Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at just before 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday morning. It was originally reported as magnitude 7.4 before being upgraded. Five major aftershocks have been felt since, registering between magnitude 4.7 and 5.9, and many minor ones have apparently been felt as well.According to the
Although officials are apparently still investigating, reports are also coming out that a new island has appeared off the south coast of Pakistan as a result of the earthquake. The new land-mass apparently rises from around 6 to 12 metres above the water and is roughly 30 metres wide.
So far, 45 people have been reported killed, and many buildings in the area were damaged by the quake. Reuters was also told by officials that, although an assessment of the remote area is difficult, some areas appeared to have suffered heavy damage.
According to the Associated Press, residents of the town of Awaran, roughly 50 km from the quake's epicentre, ran from their homes to seek safety when the shaking began. The quake was felt as far away as Karachi to the southwest and in New Delhi to the northwest, where buildings shook and swayed, forcing people out into the streets, but apparently causing no damage.
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The last earthquake of this magnitude in the area was on April 16th of this year, when a magnitude 7.8 quake struck to the west, along the Iran-Pakistan border, killing at least 35 people. Earthquakes happen quite often in this region, which is the meeting point of four different tectonic plates, and is still influenced by the sub-continent of India pushing northward into Asia.
(Image courtesy: US Geological Survey)
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