Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

September 27, 2013

Pakistan struggles to help quake victims; 285 dead

Earthquake forms small island off southern coast.

(Continued)

Associated Press images from the village of Kaich showed the devastation the quake had wrought. Houses made mostly of mud and handmade bricks had collapsed, walls and roofs caved in and people’s possessions were scattered on the ground. A few goats roamed through the wreckage as men dug through the rubble.

In images shown on Pakistani television, an unidentified man who appeared to be injured in his leg was shown supported by two men helping him walk. He said he was drinking tea when he heard a loud bang: “It shook everything.”

The Pakistani military said it had rushed almost 1,000 troops to the area overnight and was sending helicopters as well. A convoy of 60 Pakistani army trucks left Karachi early Wednesday, carrying supplies for those affected by the quake.

Pakistani forces have evacuated 174 people from various villages around Awaran to the district hospital, the military said in a statement.

Local officials said they were sending doctors, food and 1,000 tents for people who had nowhere to sleep as strong aftershocks continued to shake the region.

Pakistani officials were investigating a small island that appeared off the coast of Pakistan after the quake, apparently the result of earth and mud pushed to the surface by the quake.

The director of the National Seismic Monitoring Center confirmed that the mass was created by the quake and said scientists were trying to determine how it happened. Zahid Rafi said such masses are sometimes created by the movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface in something akin to a mud volcano.

“When such a strong earthquake builds pressure, there is the likelihood of such islands emerging,” he said. “That big shock beneath the earth causes a lot of disturbance.”

To get a better idea of what the island is made of and how permanent it is, scientists will have to get samples of the material to see if it’s mostly soft mud or rocks and harder material. He said these types of islands can remain for a long time or eventually subside back into the ocean, depending on their makeup.

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