An island has emerged off of Pakistan's Gwadar coast following a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck
Zahid Rafi, head of the Geological Survey of Pakistan, confirmed that the island was created by the earthquake, telling reporters on Tuesday that the nation's scientists were still in the process of determining exactly how it happened, the Associated Press reported
"When such a strong earthquake builds pressure, there is the likelihood of such islands emerging," Rafi said. "That big shock beneath the earth causes a lot of disturbance."
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The island is said to be approximately 250 feet wide, 100 feet long, and 60 feet high, according to Pakistani Navy geologist Mohammed Danish, who was part of a team that visited the island early Wednesday morning.
"There are stones and mud," Danish told the country's Geo Television following the visit. "Gasses are still emitting [from it]."
Despite the gas and mud, dozens of locals have reportedly already visited the island by boat, according to deputy commissioner of Gwadar district, Tufail Baloch.
The island is situated approximately 350 feet off the Gwadar coast.
According to Baloch, the emergence of the island was accompanied by dead fish floating to the water's surface and a pervasive gas in the area that caught fire when people lit their cigarettes.
This isn't the first such a mass appeared along Pakistan's coastline in recent years in the wake of a quake, the AP notes.
Two new land masses rose up from the sea approximately 175 miles east of Gwadar in 1999 and 2010, according to Muhammed Arshad, a hydrographer with the Pakistani Navy.
The earthquake responsible for the new island killed at least 271 people in Pakistan as of Wednesday morning, as first responders continued to sift through the destroyed homes, the AP reported.
Most of the victims were reportedly killed in their homes.
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Another 446 people were reported injured as a result of the quake, according to Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem, who heads Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.
Many of the villages hardest hit by the earthquake were located in remote areas, which reportedly hampered the government's recovery effort.
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