“Dozens of Pakistani villagers have sailed across to a new island that rose from the sea following Tuesday’s earthquake.
The land mass, 5km off the coast, is around the length of a football field and the width of a tennis court, according to geologists.
Dead fish were reportedly found floating in the water nearby, and people have been warned to stay away – but many villagers made the voyage regardless and took home stones as souvenirs.
Scientists who visited the island on Wednesday to collect samples said the rocks were emitting methane gas.
A team of Frontier Corp solders also went to the island and erected a Pakistani flag.
Muhammed Arshad, a hydrographer with the navy, said similar islands appeared after earthquakes of 1999 and 2010, but disappeared in the rainy season.
The rock formations are brought to the surface by gases locked beneath the seabed, which heat and expand during seismic activity.
The large earthquake struck a remote mountainous part of Pakistan on Tuesday, around 60 miles (100km) southwest of the city of Khuzdar in Balochistan province.
The quake centred on the Awaran district – one of the poorest areas in the country – and flattened hundreds of homes.
Officials have said 327 people were killed but reports say the figure could be a lot higher.
The Baluchistan provincial government said at least 552 people were injured in the quake.
The tremor was felt as far away as the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of miles to the east, where buildings shook.
In 2005, a 7.6 magnitude quake in Kashmir, in north-eastern Pakistan, killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit the country.”