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Satellite Imagery Shows Pakistan Island That Emerged After Huge Earthquake

Adam Taylor
Gwadar Island Pakistan


Following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake earlier this week, locals in Gwadar, Pakistan, noticed something strange off the coast: a new island.

It sounds fanciful, of course, but Gwadar's local government has released images showing the island and it looks very real. Now NASA's Earth Observatory has released before and after satellite images that clearly show the birth of the island.

Here's an image taken from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite taken on April 17:

Gwadar Island Pakistan Before

NASA Earth Observatory

Here's the same image taken on Sept. 26, two days after the earthquake:

Gwadar Island Pakistan After

NASA Earth Observatory

Don't expect the island to last long, however. Earth Observatory writes that the island is likely a "mud volcano," caused by a disturbance of gases and fluids below the surface. As these gases and fluids cool, the crust will collapse and probably sink below the water again in a few months. That may be just as well — the island was unlikely to make a good tourist destination, and the BBC reports that the island has been emitting a flammable gas.

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