Pakistan’s earthquake was so violent it created this new island in the Indian Ocean

September 25, 2013

When a devastating earthquake struck the remote Awaran district in Pakistan's Baluchistan province on Tuesday, it killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless, as the government struggles to rescue those who need help.

But the earthquake also drew the attention of thousands of locals, and now many around the world, for causing a new island to rise in nearby waters of the Indian Ocean, just off the Pakistan's Gwadar coastline.

The local government office in Gwadar released these images that show people walking on the newly formed island. According to Pakistan's navy geologist Mohammed Danish, the mass was about 60 feet (18 meters) high, 100 feet (30 meters) wide and 250 feet (76 meters) long, making it a little wider than a tennis court and slightly shorter than a football field.

During an earthquake, it is normal for seismic activity to make parts of the sea floor shift vertically, with some masses of earth rising and others lowering. It's not entirely shocking that Tuesday's 7.7 magnitude quake made a mass of land rise up from the water. The head of the Geological Survey of Pakistan, in an interview with the Associated Press, said these kinds of islands can remain for a long time or eventually subside back into the ocean.

Pakistan has not decided to name the island yet, but the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune has asked its readers what the new island should be named.

See more images of the world's newest island below.


An island rises from the sea following a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Pakistan.

People walk on an island that reportedly emerged off the Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea. (Gwadar Local Governement Office/AP)

People explore the island that rose from the sea following a magnitude-7.7 earthquake. (Gwadar Local Government Office/EPA)
Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Max Fisher | September 25, 2013