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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid