News / Asia

New Pakistan Island Disappearing

Zalzala Jazeera (Earthquake Island) in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).Zalzala Jazeera (Earthquake Island) in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
x
Zalzala Jazeera (Earthquake Island) in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
Zalzala Jazeera (Earthquake Island) in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
Ayaz Gul
Researchers in Pakistan are confirming visible changes in the size of a new island that suddenly appeared in the Arabian sea off the country's southwest coast after a September 24 earthquake.

The island, locally called Zalzala Jazeera (Earthquake Island), rose from the sea floor about a kilometer from the port town of Gwadar just hours after a massive earthquake, with its epicenter some 400 kilometers inland, struck the province of Baluchistan.   

Scientists reported initially that the island was 18 meters above sea level, 152 meters long and 182 meters wide.  

“It has since gone 3 meters down underwater and the process is ongoing,” says Abdul Rahim, a biologist in the area working for the World Wide Fund (WWF) Pakistan.  He has made several trips to the island to study its characteristics.  “The surface of island is mostly muddy and its crust is covered with large rocks and stones.”

Rahim said muddy areas of the island are facing rapid erosion and the whole thing is likely to vanish within a year.

Local media quote scientists at the National Institute of Oceanography in Karachi as saying that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reports their satellite images showed the Island is shrinking.

The rapid reduction in size of the island and predictions that it will disappear in coming months are causes of concern for local fishermen and others benefiting from the sudden ecotourism boom.

While the magnitude 7.7 earthquake caused massive human and material losses in parts of southwestern Baluchistan province where Gwadar is located, Rahim says the new island has become a source of livelihood for local people.

Rahim says a sizable number of tourists, including women and children from nearby towns and other parts of Pakistan, as well as foreign nationals, are visiting the island daily.

“They hire local boats by paying handsome amounts of money to the owners to visit the island.”  

Acabaria Delicatula found on Zalzala island in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).Acabaria Delicatula found on Zalzala island in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
x
Acabaria Delicatula found on Zalzala island in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
Acabaria Delicatula found on Zalzala island in Pakistan, Nov. 22, 2013 (WWF's Abdul Rahim for VOA).
​Rahim says he has conducted a survey of the area around the new island with the support of a local marine biologist and they have concluded it is rich in biodiversity.  

He added that their survey has identified four species of small encrusting and branching corals. Rahim says “The indication of rich biodiversity is also shared by local fishermen with more than 200 of them fishing daily in this newly emerged area.”

Rahim said that presence of unusually large numbers of small fish around the island is a new development and adds ”it has attracted big fish to eat them while fishermen are enjoying plenty of opportunities to catch more and bigger fish than they used to.”

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid