Pakistan suffered a massive, 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. Over 100 people are confirmed to have died and many buildings collapsed with people inside them. As the rescue and cleanup operation continues, it is clear that the death toll will rise, according to a Sept. 23 Atlantic Wire article.
The surprise came when a new island appeared off the coast near Gwadar in the Arabian Sea. An island that is about 40 feet high and 100 feet wide rose out of the sea about 350 feet from shore.
According to a Sept. 23 BBC News article, the U.S. Geological Service reported the epicenter at 13 miles (20km) below the ground. The surface location was in the Balochistan province, 41 miles (66km) north-east of Awaran.
About 30 percent of the houses in the northern suburbs of Awaran town were known to have collapsed. Houses also collapsed in the district of Khuzdar. Other areas may have been affected, but are too remote for early assessments. About 200 soldiers have been sent into rescue duty.
The buildings are mostly made of formed mud. Much more stable concrete building is generally reserved for government buildings in Pakistan.
In April, another 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed about 35 Pakistanis, though it was centered in southeastern Iran.
The only comparable geological upheaval came in 2010, when an 8.8 magnitude earthquake actually altered the coastline of Chile.
As for the newly formed island, it might not be a permanent geological structure. A similar event occurred in 1968. That island lasted for about a year and then vanished. According to NBC News, scientists believe the new island is a "mud volcano" that pushed to the surface as the sludge under the sea was disturbed by the earthquake