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Members of the media and people walk on an island that rose from the sea following an earthquake off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013. — Photo Reuters
Members of the media and people walk on an island that rose from the sea following an earthquake off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013. — Photo Reuters
An island that rose from the sea following an earthquake is pictured off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013. — Photo Reuters
An island that rose from the sea following an earthquake is pictured off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013. — Photo Reuters

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KARACHI, Sept 25: Following the emergence of an island on Tuesday off the coast of Gwadar, two others have emerged along the Balochistan coast, according to sources.

“The two new islands are located a few miles from Bidok and Bal, two villages along the coast of Ormara and Pasni. The information about the islands has been provided by local fishermen and tribal elders,” said Mohammad Moazzam Khan, a technical adviser to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

“The two new islands also seem to have been formed due to the earthquake that hit the province on Tuesday. Detailed information will be available tomorrow when our technical staff will visit the sites,” Mr Khan added.

Meanwhile, a team of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) visited on Wednesday the island which emerged off the Gwadar coast and found methane gas being emitted from various spots.

“The team has collected samples of rocks, water and sediment which will be analysed at the institute’s laboratory in Karachi. Another team will thoroughly examine the site in a few days,” said Dr Asif Inam of the NIO.

He put the island’s size at 50 metres long, 20m wide and 10m above the sea level.

The island, he said, was largely composed of mud and seemed to have emerged in a similar fashion as did Malan island in 2011. The new island was emitting pure methane that was used in households, he added.

NIO Director General Dr Ali Rashid Tabrez said Makran region was seismically an active zone and the coastal belt was reported to have extensive reserves of frozen methane.

“It’s common to see air bubbles at the surface of seawater along the coast. These bubbles are formed when gas is released on account of variation in sea temperature or any other change,” he said.

According to Dr Tabrez, the reserves of frozen methane exist in the form of gas hydrates (crystalline water-based solids physically resembling ice, formed under conditions of relatively high pressures and low temperatures) hundreds of metres below the sea floor.

“When this highly pressurised gas finds a weak space to release some of its energy, a dome-like structure (island) is created within the waters or it emerges on the sea surface. The space to release energy could be formed due to tectonic movements, creating some fractures and fissures in the strata,” he said.

The island, he said, might collapse as happened before (in case of Malan island) and vanish in a few months because of strong wave action and gradual easing out of gas pressure.

In reply to a question about exploiting gas hydrates for commercial use, he said there were few methods available for the purpose but research for a safe and cost-efficient technology was under way in many countries, including the US, Japan, Peru, Canada and India.

“Japan is excited over the discovery of gas hydrates in its territory in recent years and has carried out successful experiments. It is hoped that an environment-friendly technology will be available within a year or two to extract gas from these reserves,” he said.

He said Pakistan needed to carry out a survey of the reserves, adding that work on gas deposits had begun with the signing of an agreement with China this year.

According to AFP, enterprising boat owners were doing a brisk trade ferrying curious sightseers to the island — dubbed ‘Earthquake Mountain’ by local people.

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Comments (32) Closed

Ahmed Soomar Sep 26, 2013 07:18am

We Pakistani are all time falsely praising our self for many achievements for last 65 years but when time comes we are begging to other nations for assistance even for small things for example Transport in Lahore by Turkey. when we will become competent ?

Rakesh Sep 26, 2013 12:26pm

Isn't Gwadar Port China's territory?

Bilal Sep 26, 2013 01:00pm

@Rakesh: no dude. its a city in Balochistan. China only building port on contract given by Pakistan.

Taha Sep 26, 2013 01:04pm

@Rakesh: Keep living in your own cuckoo land, Gawader is Pakistans territory, if someone do a bit of development work in a city it does not give the owning right.

Nawazish Sep 26, 2013 01:10pm

A good news. The carbohydrate mafia of Pakistan will now again say that there are huge reserves of energy resources like Thar Coal sufficient for producing cheap electricity for centuries and as such water dams should never be allowed to be constructed lest so and so steals the water of Sindh river. By the turn of a decade or so India will have changed the course of river Sindh or rob its total water. In such a situation Pakistan will virtually become a desert and so and so wrongfully doubted today of stealing the water of Sindh will be forced to actually steal it in order to survive. Well done corrupt and incompetent politicians whose survival lies in infighting and who hate constructive works in order to keep the masses poor and their subservient slaves.

Oz Sep 26, 2013 03:01pm

Methan gas ? Capture it, we need gas, why isn't someone from Ministry of Petroleum doing a survey ? If any oil and gas reserves have been pushed up as a gift of Allah, get them for the benefit of Baluch and Pakisan economy.

pms gujarati Sep 26, 2013 05:50pm

Dear Good news gas found. Lets not trun to china. Lets build good relationship with big brother-India. Dont make big brother-china who has nothing common with you.

shahid Sep 26, 2013 05:57pm

It is a probably hint from nature that a lot of natural resources (wealth) are sitting under water.

saima Sep 26, 2013 07:22pm

@Rakesh: You wish or you are envious......

a Sep 26, 2013 07:21pm

@Rakesh: What a cheap stunt against Pakistan, yet again by an indian.

ANSER AZIM Sep 26, 2013 07:40pm

How come the coast guards failed to report the emergence of these two new Islands? Sorry to hear that Japan and china have to do the exploration not Pakistan herself?

faisal Sep 26, 2013 08:59pm

@Nawazish: carbohydrates are the sugars in food items my glucose and starch... maybe you simply meant to say 'carbon'.

Breaking Bad Sep 26, 2013 09:48pm

@Bilal: He was being sarcastic.

kamran Sep 26, 2013 10:21pm

malik rias, please lauch a bahria town there project like palm aljamera Dubai.

Life Sep 26, 2013 10:45pm

@Ahmed Soomar: You need a technology transfer (training) for such mega projects. When you will work on one or two with the help of experts you will take other projects on your own.

bobby chand Sep 26, 2013 10:56pm

These are all signs by God, natural treasures await utilization by Umma

Tariq, Lahore Sep 27, 2013 12:06am

@Ahmed Soomar: There are so many talented, highly professional people of Pakistani origin working very successfully outside of the country some of them would love to return 'home' but the corrupt, inept practices' of not 'what you know but who you know' is killing our country!

Saylani Sep 27, 2013 01:56am

@Ahmed Soomar: we also have turkish flag on our thousand rs note have a look.

Shah Sep 27, 2013 03:37am

@Oz: we found gas in Sui too, how much it has benefited Baluchistan? you get what I am trying to say?

Shaukat Basit Sep 27, 2013 05:59am

@Rakesh: No Rakesh Bhai,Gwadar is a sea coast city in Balochistan,Pakistan. Pakistan gave a contract to China to build a port /they both will operate,which will benefit Pakistan,China and India too if she wanted to avail for its Western part of India for all their shipping supplies which come from Middle East and Europe.I hope you understand now.( its a cost effective matter like U.S gave a Dubai company to run New York port some year back.

rashad Sep 27, 2013 11:20am

@Rakesh: please learn some manners!

mh Sep 27, 2013 12:27pm

I really hope people dont start polluting this wonderful island.Some authority must start ways of keeping it clean and convert it into an eco-tourist spot where people can go to observe nature.

Humair Farooq Sep 27, 2013 02:52pm

We should gift away these islands to TTP so that they can establish there own state and leave Pakistan......

gangadin Sep 27, 2013 04:08pm

@Rakesh: Well said. Not only that but China could be future refuge for many politicians once Pakistan is split along Indus.

Akram Sep 27, 2013 07:30pm

with Methane emerging from the sea like this, surely its worth another look for an exploration company to drill undersea and see if there are reserves there. After all next door Iran has the worlds second largest gas reserves mostly near its western coast.

varinder singh Sep 27, 2013 08:38pm

gas resourse .............. a good news. what about the the casualities due to earthquake. do anybody talk about those people?

Zahir Sep 28, 2013 03:42am


The correct scientific term to describe fossil fuels is "Hydrocarbons" and not "Carbohydrates" derived from living plants and grains and which we consume on a daily basis.

Indian brother Sep 28, 2013 05:34am

I am sad to see more people reading and commenting on this site about earthquake islands emerging than on the news page related to our poor Balochi people becoming homeless and counting their dead. Baloch people are already very poor and now they have lost their homes too... Pakistan must provide them with more than just food and water that will last only a week. They need new stronger homes and means of livelihood.

Sharan Sep 28, 2013 10:53am

@Taha: This 'a bit of development' is a few $billion (reports say $15 Billion). If the land or port were private property and were auctioned/sold, would it fetch that much? Is China ready to pay that much only to lease? Perhaps your govt. is hiding the real agreement from you; think for yourself, maybe you should ask to know what the real agreement is.

vijaychennai Sep 28, 2013 12:56pm

@Nawazish:it not carbohydrates dear. It is Hydrocarbons.

zeenat khan Sep 28, 2013 02:34pm

@kamran: Riaz Malik must be wondering how to claim the land without too many people noticing

Vaidhyan Sep 28, 2013 08:56pm

Looking at the mass of elevated island, rule of the thumb says there could be approx 1000MW worth of compressed gas underneath. Use it wisely, without environment and human impacts.