Earthquake in Balochistan: Death toll touches 150

Published: September 24, 2013

A screenshot of the new island created by the earthquake half a mile into the sea at the Jhanda coastline in Gwadar. PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS

A screenshot of the new island created by the earthquake half a mile into the sea at the Jhanda coastline in Gwadar. PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS MAP: USGS WEBSITE

A powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing hundreds in Balochistan, besides creating a new island off the Gwadar coastline in its wake, Express News reported.

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LATEST UPDATE: Death toll rises to 250 in Balochistan earthquake

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Tremors were felt as far as the Indian capital New Delhi.

The Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly stated that at least 150 people had died from the disaster in the province.

The quake struck at 4:29 pm local time (1129 GMT) around 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Balochistan province, at a depth of 15 kilometres.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.7, recording its duration as eight seconds.

The area most affected by the quake were Awaran and Khuzdar, with over 90% of the villages/communities in Awaran were destroyed.

Pakistan Army started an emergency rescue operation immediately.

Director General ISPR, Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted that 300 soldiers are already in the area, with the number expected to rise to 1000 by tomorrow morning. Khuzdar would be used as base for the rescue effort.

On the Gwadar coastline, the quake created a small island about half a mile into the sea near an area called ‘Jhanda’, according to Express News.

The newly appearing island is said to have a mountainous terrain rising up to a hundred feet. A large crowd was seen gathering at the site to see the new island.

The area of the epicentre is sparsely populated, but the USGS issued a red alert for the quake, which left aftershocks of up to 5.9 magnitude, according to the meteorological department.

Minor tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, while office workers in the city of Ahmedabad near the border with Pakistan ran out of buildings and into the street.

Mumtaz Baluch, senior local administration official in Awaran district, 350 kilometres southwest of Quetta, told AFP: “There are reports of houses being collapsed in the district due to earthquake.”

“We have dispatched our teams to the affected area to ascertain the losses.”

In April a 7.8-magnitude quake centred in southeast Iran, close to the border with Baluchistan, killed 41 people and affected more than 12,000 on the Pakistan side of the border.

People working in offices Karachi rushed out of their building and sat on the footpaths along the roads or stood away from the buildings.

“My work table jerked a bit and again and I impulsively rushed outside,” Noor Jabeen, a 28-year woman working for an insurance company said while breathing heavily.

“It was not so intense but it was terrible,” said Owais Khan, who works for a provincial government office.

“Whenever I feel jolts it reminds me of the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir,” said Amjad Ali, 45, IT official standing on the road said.

Doctors attacked

Paramedical staff dispatched to remote areas of Awaran for providing medical aid to those injured due to the earthquake came under attack.

Express News correspondent Raza Rehman reported that the doctors came under attack from unknown assailants near Awaran. However, there were no reports of any loss of life.

Meanwhile, the Balochistan government spokesperson Jan Muhammad Buledi told a press conference in Quetta on Tuesday that they had started relief and rescue work in the earthquake affected zones.

Buledi said that the earthquake had affected six districts in the province including Awaran, Kech, Khuzdar, Panjgur, Chaghi, Gwadar.

“On the instructions of the Chief Minister, we are providing immediate relief goods and medical attention.”

In this regards, Buledi said that all other NGOs including Edhi and international organisations and local welfare organisations are being facilitated as much as possible including on the issue of law and order

He said that the death toll stood at 33, though he added that the death toll was feared to rise.

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5:52pm

Two people are confirmed dead in Awaran, Balochistan as a result of the earthquake.

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5:30pm

Officials from the Met office say major damage and loss of life was averted as the center of the earthquake is located in a remote area.

They have however warned of after-shocks of up to 5 magnitude.

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5:15pm

Relief goods will be provided from Quetta for affected areas in Balochistan.

It is an 8-10 hour drive by road to provide relief goods to Awaran, Balochistan.

It is confirmed that the roofs of two schools have collapsed in Awaran. No loss of life has been reported as yet.

People in cities and towns across Sindh and Balochistan are now returning back to work and into their homes, Express News reports.

A panoramic view of evacuation in Karachi, courtesy @pharhansuhail

Media preview

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5:05pm

Many houses have been damaged in Balochistan’s Awaran district because of the earthquake. The affected area Awaran is located between Turbat and Khuzdar. The tremors were felt at 4:29pm.

People are reportedly injured in Awaran and are being taken to a hospital.

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5:00pm

According to USGS, the earthquake lasted for eight seconds.

Reports are coming in of houses damaged in Pasni and Awaran, Balochistan after the earthquake.

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4:55pm

The earthquake struck at a depth of 28km Express News reports.

Details of the earthquake and its precise location can be found at the USGS website.

No major damage has been reported as yet, although media reports that the coastline is most affected.

Express Media group employees evacuate the Karachi office. PHOTO: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

Express Media group employees evacuate the Karachi office. PHOTO: JAHANZAIB HAQUE

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4:50pm

Chief Meteorologist confirms a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck parts of Sindh and Balochistan.

The center of the earthquake was Khusdar.

The tremors were also felt as far as New Delhi and other parts of India.

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4:45pm

Initial reports suggest the earthquake was of a magnitude of 7.7, located 145 Miles South-South East Dalbandin-Balochistan.

Strong tremors were felt in Karachi.

Reader Comments (79)

  • Please ET
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:49PM

    May God save all of us !!

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  • Karachiite
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:51PM

    Felt it too on Shahrah-e-Faisal too – buildings evacuated for few minutes – less severe but bit longer than last time

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  • logic
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:51PM

    May Allah save everyone from harm due to this earth quick

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  • Shakir
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:56PM

    This is Allah’s anger against what is happening in Pakistan. What type of Muslims are we… Terrorism, killing, murder, rape, brutality.. Ya Allah please guide is to the straight path. Amen.

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  • Z
    Sep 24, 2013 - 4:57PM

    I called my cousin in Karachi about the situation and he said ” Really? I’m on public transport and didn’t feel anything” ;)

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 4:58PM
  • Talha
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:00PM

    Bombings, murders, kidnapping, terrorism, sectarian warfare, ethnic warfare and on top of that natural disasters.

    If you have faith then you better believe that God has left this place a long time ago.

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 5:01PM

    Pakistan Richter scales are out of order, don’t rely on them.

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:01PM

    I was sitting on the chair at the ground floor level and for couple of seconds my chair started shaking slightly.

    I thought to share this news with my colleagues but before that I received a call from my residence confirming the shocks of earthquake.

    God has saved the people today, but this may happen again any time in the day and during the night.

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  • unbiased
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:01PM

    will mullah, who is so fast in linking natural calamities to our being “un-islamic’, brand this one as God’s wrath for what we did to Christians on sunday ???

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  • transposedsoul
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:02PM

    I felt the shock. Our office was immediately evacuated.

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:09PM

    Lets pray for safety of life and property of regions affected!!!
    7.7 is a big quake…….May God keep everyone safe ………………..

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  • Gingo
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:11PM

    Jesus striking down on the killers of his disciples.

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  • Imran
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:12PM

    internet addiction.

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  • eatshitdie
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:17PM

    nope didn’t felt anything

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  • Mohammed Yusuf
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:22PM

    Looks like divine retribution for the bombing of the church and killing of Christians

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  • MA
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:22PM

    ET bloggers will be blaming IK for this too in his upcoming article ….

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  • Indian
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:25PM

    Jesus might be angry for what happened to christians in pakistan

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 5:38PM

    May GOD Almighty keep Pakistan and its citizens safe from all calamities, disasters and problems. May our beloved country remain into being always. Aameen!

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 5:40PM

    We hope no one has been hurt. We are praying for the safety of everyone living nearby.

    Ali Khan

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  • shiba Butt
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:43PM

    God bless pakistan, may Allahpak save everyone of effected areas,Amin.

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  • Water Bottle
    Sep 24, 2013 - 5:49PM

    Earthquakes happened even before Islam came into existence as an organized religion and it will continue to happen even if all humanity on Earth is destroyed.

    Stop linking it with anything.

    It’s natural. Also, Pakistan is located in a high seismic activity zone.

    So, don’t worry.

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  • Mohammad Qaisar
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:07PM

    The earthquake was in Balochistan. I also felt it while I am sitting on 11th floor (20 floor if you include parking) in dubai :(. May Allah save all of us.

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  • Azmat Khan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:22PM

    Would our righteous Ulema say now that the deadly earth quake is the punishment for our heinous crime of Peshawar church attack?

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  • Mohammad
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:25PM

    Express employees seems like they are extremely happy with this short break!

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  • Faisal
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:30PM

    May Allah Saves all Pakistanis from such disastours.

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  • Ali
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:31PM

    I am from Shiraz, south west of IRAN,the earthquake was also felt here

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  • Raj - USA
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:44PM

    @MA:

    I think ET bloggers are blaming IK for the tsunami. May be he had a premonition of the destruction he shall be bringing to Pakistan.

    7.8 or 7.4 magnitude is a big earthquake. Added to it was that it was just 29 Km deep. It could have caused huge destruction. Thank God it happened in a sparsely populated area.

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  • Khan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 6:52PM

    some people are saying that it was done by MQM

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  • usman
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:10PM

    “This is not our earthquake” imran khan.Recommend

  • Zara
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:29PM

    Im afraid TTP would take the responsibility of this earth quake as well.

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 7:33PM

    We send our deepest heartfelt condolences to the victims families.

    Ali Khan

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  • Truth_Seeker
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:41PM

    I hope the Land Mafia don’t see the new island !

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:41PM

    @Gingo: ” … Jesus striking down on the killers of his disciples. … “

    Why Balochistan then ?

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  • FAZ
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:42PM

    I heard the GoB official saying that the areas are center of BLA and we all know how much they love Pakistani government officials so its a hard run to reach such areas on time which could result in loss of loves,,
    I was wondering, if BLA is so much passionate and affectionate of the Balochs then why dont they step in with their 4×4′s to help? Or do they think this “atrocity” is also from the people of Punjab? I believe they do have common sense that they could help people at least if their sardars dont consider them animals. Even animals can be helped out if injured.

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  • I am a Khan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:43PM

    New Island Created? Boom in Disguise?

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  • Shubham
    Sep 24, 2013 - 7:49PM

    Well, Pakistan got there “Kashmir” Island. Now stop asking for Kashmir from India :P

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  • Sep 24, 2013 - 8:00PM

    May Allah Protect all of us.

    Seems that Google maps already had the layout of the Island

    See here : http://goo.gl/maps/StgS2

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  • pakistani
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:06PM

    @Indian:
    In that case what happened in new dehli?
    What did you guys do now ?

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  • reader
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:21PM

    It could be reason HAARP is being tested, US has been working a lot in reaching our side of the region. Just a guess :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAARP

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  • Char Latan
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:23PM

    As soon as he heard the news, Nawaz Sharif named it “Friendship Island” and offered it to the Chinese.

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  • zs
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:31PM

    Tremors can be generated artificial ly…the depth is about 10-15 km. Raising of island near gwadar also indicates some man sponsored activity…may be underground explosion.created chaos is what we r facing as Pakistani society, be it bomb blast s or media hypes on issues normally faced by every country and now earthquake. No problem as nation and society we r resilient and inshaallah will face every challenge.GOD BLESS PAKISTAN AND OUR PEOPLE..against 4th generation warfare.Proud Pakistani

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  • numbersnumbers
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:32PM

    New Island? Land Mafia will be there in no time!

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  • Mj
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:37PM

    Earthquakes are a part of natural process, not some divine punishment.

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  • Amira
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:46PM

    @FAZ:
    And what’s your problem?

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  • ali
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:47PM

    if the origin of the eathquake was between iran and baluchi boarder, why are mentioning inida again and again, why dont you update us on iran. what damages did iran underwent when the earthquake was closer to them?.. bad editing and reporting!

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  • FAZ
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:54PM

    @Shubham:
    So its time to make jokes? Our 5 year olds even have some sense in them.

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  • observer
    Sep 24, 2013 - 8:59PM

    Earthquake creates new island off Gwadar coastline

    Will the Chinese claim it along with Gwadar port?

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  • Hafiz
    Sep 24, 2013 - 9:09PM

    its artificially created by China.

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  • Salman
    Sep 24, 2013 - 9:18PM

    Give that island to taliban and ask all talibaan to move there. Thank you!.

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  • Geek
    Sep 24, 2013 - 9:36PM

    Malik Riaz is ready to build another Bahria Town hereRecommend

  • Nadira
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:00PM

    @Gingo:
    Don’t be ridiculous! This is a natural disaster! What those idiots did to the innocent people in the church was planned and deliberate and EVIL!

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  • amber
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:15PM

    Earthquakes are natural calamity so I beg plz stop linking it to the punishment for Peshawar Church bombing coz m more than sure that the victims of this earthquke didnt bomb the church… the people who did this have done the same to mosques as well… they ve got no religion n those who are rejoicing this disaster as a punishment have got no humanity left in them… I m extremely sorry for the victims of Peshawar as well as for those of Earthquake… May Allah be Merciful and forgiving for all of us n May the innocent people be safe from such ravages always… amenRecommend

  • Yes!
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:26PM

    @Water Bottle:
    I commend you for being one of the few people who understand what an earthquake is.

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  • ruqia saqib
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:39PM

    what are the resons for the apprence of this new island. and may god bless pakistan. i hope we are not facing any new disaster after all this.

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  • Hamza
    Sep 24, 2013 - 10:49PM

    The Island is not formed because of the earthquake… it is formed because of the decrease in sea level…the earthquake may have been minor part in its formation, because of the tremors the sea shore moved a little bit back, but after some years or even decades depending upon how fast the sea is, this island will again be swallowed by the sea, and along Pakistan’s sea line there are a lot of islands under the sea, and they’ll probably come up and down depending upon the sea level.

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  • indian
    Sep 24, 2013 - 11:07PM

    chinese has got another island in their pocket,,,,gifted by best frnd!!!!!

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  • Naveen
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:34AM

    @Hamza:
    Or perhaps it is due to folding up of the material on the seabed by the seismic waves.

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  • arshad ashraf
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:40AM

    After earth quake its a gift of God. Utilize it for tourists.

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  • BadHorse
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:46AM

    THANK YOU Express News!!! How we can ever adequately express our gratitude?! Were it not for your extraordinarily helpful circle, we would have struggled to identify the new island raised by the earthquake.

    Whatever would we do without you MSPaint skillz?

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  • Mj
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:12AM

    @Hamza:
    The island is a bit tall to be explained by low tides.

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  • GABRIEL LEVY
    Sep 25, 2013 - 1:52AM

    I am sorry to hear about so much tragedy in Pakistan. I feel that New Jersey, U.S.A. is also going to experience a Mag. 5.5 EARTHQUAKE very soon. Thank You.
    Recommend

  • Ali Zaidi
    Sep 25, 2013 - 2:14AM

    It was a terrible loss; Is that island for sale?. I believe that will be prime property for waterfront development.

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  • Chingatch
    Sep 25, 2013 - 6:28AM

    @Ali Zaidi: “Is that island for sale?”

    YES! Send me a check for $16 Million and it’s yours! ;-)

    Recommend

  • Hamza
    Sep 25, 2013 - 8:42AM

    An Island cannot be formed in a day or two, it needs many years to be formed, it could happened that the Island could exists under the sea but at sea level and when the water level drops the Island emerges from the sea, but still then earthquake has little to do with this. And if the Island is too tall to be explained by low tides, then it is a thousand times more tall to be explained by earthquake, there are many Islands around the world that emerge for a particular time (because of low tides) and then vanish after some days/years or even decades, and then come back again. There is no example of a Island, as tall as that one to emerge just because of an earthquake.

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  • Nadira
    Sep 25, 2013 - 9:07AM

    This is NOT retribution!! This is nature. What happened in Peshawar was barbaric and is condemned by one and all.
    But natural disasters are just that, natural, they’ve been happening for millennia and have nothing to do with retribution.

    The people who did this are monsters and should be tortured to death slowly.

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  • Sep 25, 2013 - 9:18AM

    I like how they put a big red circle around that GIANT FREAKIN’ ISLAND. Thanks for the visual aid ET. :)

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  • Sep 25, 2013 - 11:21AM

    it was so harsh and tough situation……..its realy so hard

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  • Yasin
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:34PM

    At least this new Island has increased Pakistan’s land mass. Areawise Pakistan is bigger than before.

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  • Optimist
    Sep 25, 2013 - 12:44PM

    The last earthquake (Oct 2005) came next day after terrorists martyred Ahmadis in Mandibahauddin while praying Fajjar namaz in the mosque. This earthquake has come after terrorists martyred Christians in Peshawar while praying in Church.
    God is sending a message to the so-called muslims of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Atif
    Sep 25, 2013 - 5:00PM

    Once more Allah gave us a chance to repent!!!….. The number of natural disasters has increased over the past few years signaling The End of Times!!!!

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  • LoveJesus
    Sep 25, 2013 - 6:44PM

    I pray that the Lord will enter into the hardened hearts of man and breath everlasting life into his soul. Jesus is God, Jesus is Savior. Please repeat this over and over and Pray for every lost soul that God may have mercy on them. This is the time. You will not get other chances. Please Please Please turn to Jesus and avoid eternal damnation. I love you my brothers and sisters no matter what you have done in you life God loves you and wants you.

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  • Ennkay
    Sep 26, 2013 - 8:49AM

    Both nature and terrorism create chaos. Why does one read terrorism into a natural disaster?@zs:

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  • sana
    Sep 26, 2013 - 11:41AM

    linking earthquake with God’s punishment is absurd. Why would he punish poor innocent people. Why not the evil beasts who bomb innocents everyday?

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  • Talha Rizvi
    Sep 26, 2013 - 1:38PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    @Indian:
    @numbersnumbers:
    @observer:
    @indian:
    @Gingo:
    Making jokes about this shows how much you Indians harbor hatred towards Pakistan. This earthquake happened in an area where the basic population is poor and have nothing to do with the attack on church. Shameful mentality.

    Recommend

  • Doubtom
    Sep 27, 2013 - 6:16AM

    How can a new island be created that is a hundred feet high, not to mention how long or wide it might be, not result in a huge tidal wave towards the mainland? This would have to displaced a great deal of ocean water!

    Recommend

  • Art Glick
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:58PM

    @Farhan Rasheed:
    How do you know that’s the island in the picture?

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  • Art Glick
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:05AM

    @Hamza:
    The article says the island was 100 feet high. Are you saying that sea level decreased by that much. Not hardly!

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  • Art Glick
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:12AM

    @Hamza:
    The article says the island was 100 feet high. Are you saying that sea level decreased by that much. Not hardly!

    On the other hand, I must agree that it strains credulity to imagine any land mass rising at least 100 feet during a quake.

    Could this be a hoax? (not the quake, but the new island)

    Recommend

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