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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid