The quake struck 41 miles north-northeast of Awaran in Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A new island measuring 328 feet in length and 35 feet in height emerged off the Gwadar coast after the tremor, Moazzam Jah Ansari, the district police chief, said.
The archipelago is believed to have been created by a mud volcano, a phenomenon that forms "when mud or fluid is squeezed out of underlying sediment and spreads a brown mush over everything"
Pakistan's army is currently leading a rescue operation in the area. Sixty army vehicles carrying 600 troops left Karachi Wednesday carrying food, drugs, tents and equipment to set up field hospitals.
“Casualties have been reported from a vast area so our first priority is saving lives and then we’ll aim to provide shelter and food to survivors,” Muhammad Saeed Aleem, chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, told reporters in Quetta.
Balochistan province is Pakistan's largest province in size and the smallest in population. It covers about 44 percent of the country's total land and has a population of 8 million. No major destruction was reported in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital.