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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs