Tag Archive: Pakistan


‘Not bug splats’: Artists use poster-child in Pakistan drone protest

Published time: April 07, 2014 13:29

Image from notabugsplat.com

Image from notabugsplat.com

A poster of a young child has appeared in north-west Pakistan to raise awareness of the numerous drone attacks the region suffered. Artists who created the image hope military commanders will think twice about shooting after seeing the portrait.

More than 200 children are believed to have died in the heavily-bombed Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa according to the website notabugsplat.com. ‘Bug splat’ is the name given by the military to a person who has been killed by a drone. Viewing the body through a grainy computer image gives the impression that an insect has been crushed.

Now a giant portrait of a young child has been produced to try and raise awareness of civilian casualties in the region. The hope is now the drone operator will see a child’s face on his or her computer screen, rather than just a small white dot and may think twice before attacking indiscriminately.

The child featured in the poster is nameless, but according to the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, who helped to launch the project in collaboration with a number of artists, both parents were lost to a drone attack.

Drone raids in Pakistan started in 2004 under George W. Bush’s administration as part of the US War on Terror. The vast majority of strikes have focused on the Federally Administered Tribal Area’s and the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa area due to their proximity to Afghanistan, which the country invaded following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta
About these ads

MOXNEWSd0tC0M MOXNEWSd0tC0M

 

Published on Feb 11, 2014

February 11, 2014 BBC News http://MOXNews.com

 

 

…..

 

Another U.S. citizen a potential drone target

By Tom Cohen and Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 6:21 PM EST, Tue February 11, 2014

(CNN) — U.S. counterterrorism officials are closely watching an al Qaeda fighter in Pakistan who could become the next American to be targeted for killing by a drone strike, CNN has learned.

The person has been the subject of debate among military commanders and intelligence officials for several weeks as they decide what to recommend. President Barack Obama would make a final decision.

CNN has also learned key members of Congress have been aware of the internal debate.

The officials spoke to CNN’s Barbara Starr on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

U.S. citizen may be target of drone

The current discussions involve both military commanders in the special forces community and intelligence officials.

A key point being discussed is whether it is better to maintain surveillance to see what added intelligence can be gained about any threats to the United States, and whether additional monitoring might lead to other operatives or al Qaeda elements to target.

Under the Obama administration’s policy for targeting Americans, a person would have to pose an imminent threat to the United States and there would be no reasonable prospect of capture.

A U.S. official said drone targeting inside Pakistan is very sensitive because of the fragile state of the Pakistani government, which is under pressure to ban such strikes.

As a potential strike is weighed, some officials contend that good relations with the Islamabad government is a priority so the United States can maintain some type of long-term surveillance operation of potential al Qaeda targets there.

If all U.S. troops leave neighboring Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the concern is it may be harder to maintain high priority efforts such as conducting further drone operations over Pakistan and to also monitor Pakistan’s nuclear programs.

As the United States considers a strike in Pakistan, there are also recent indications that al Qaeda in Pakistan and its affiliate in Somalia, Al-Shabaab, have stepped up their links, a second official told CNN.

Jehad Serwan Mostafa, an American citizen, is currently with Al-Shabaab. He is the highest-ranking American in the group, believed to be in a remote part of southern Somalia.

The Justice Department currently has a $5 million reward on his head.

CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruikshank said there are indications Mostafa has contacts with senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

The United States failed to kill Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in a drone strike in southern Somalia just a few weeks ago.

And last October, Navy SEALs failed to capture a third key leader, a man named Ikrimah. They assaulted a compound he was said to be at in southern Somalia but withdrew under heavy fire.

Although Ikrimah and Godane were said to be involved in the deadly attack last year on a shopping mall in Kenya, U.S. officials have told CNN that one reason Ikrimah was targeted was there was critical intelligence he had been communicating with operatives of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

That Yemen based al Qaeda group is considered the most dangerous of its affiliates to U.S. security.

Read More and Watch Video Here

 

…..

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

 (Part 1)

(Part 2)


………..

Published on Oct 31, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. Today we air extended clips from the new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” and speak to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with attack survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials, and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old Tariq Aziz who was killed by drone. just days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, “Living Under Drones.”

Watch the discussion and more clips from the film in part 2 of this segment: http://youtu.be/ew3mXmqoQFg

Democracy Now!, is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,200+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch it live 8-9am ET at http://www.democracynow.org.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Please tell me, Mr President, why a US drone assassinated my mother

 

Pakistani ribesmen from Waziristan protest against US drone attacks, outside parliament in Islamabad

Tribesmen from Waziristan protest against US drone attacks, outside Pakistan’s parliament in Islamabad, in 2010. Photograph: T Mughal/EPA

 

The last time I saw my mother, Momina Bibi, was the evening before Eid al-Adha. She was preparing my children’s clothing and showing them how to make sewaiyaan, a traditional sweet made of milk. She always used to say: the joy of Eid is the excitement it brings to the children.

Last year, she never had that experience. The next day, 24 October 2012, she was dead, killed by a US drone that rained fire down upon her as she tended her garden.

Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day. The media reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Several reported the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All reported that five militants were killed. Only one person was killed – a 67-year-old grandmother of nine.

My three children – 13-year-old Zubair, nine-year-old Nabila and five-year-old Asma – were playing nearby when their grandmother was killed. All of them were injured and rushed to hospitals. Were these children the “militants” the news reports spoke of? Or perhaps, it was my brother’s children? They, too, were there. They are aged three, seven, 12, 14, 15 and 17 years old. The eldest four had just returned from a day at school, not long before the missile struck.

But the United States and its citizens probably do not know this. No one ever asked us who was killed or injured that day. Not the United States or my own government. Nobody has come to investigate nor has anyone been held accountable. Quite simply, nobody seems to care.

I care, though. And so does my family and my community. We want to understand why a 67-year-old grandmother posed a threat to one of the most powerful countries in the world. We want to understand how nine children, some playing in the field, some just returned from school, could possibly have threatened the safety of those living a continent and an ocean away.

Most importantly, we want to understand why President Obama, when asked whom drones are killing, says they are killing terrorists. My mother was not a terrorist. My children are not terrorists. Nobody in our family is a terrorist.

 

Read More Here

 

……….

Family of Grandmother Killed in US Drone Strike Arrive for Congress Visit

 

By on October 28, 2013

 

drone_20102013

 

by Ryan Devereaux

 

Drawing on a pad of paper in a Washington DC hotel, Nabeela ur Rehman recalled the day her grandmother was killed. “I was running away,” the nine-year told the Guardian. “I was trying to wipe away the blood.”

 

“It was as if it was night all of the sudden.”

 

The date was 24 October 2012, the eve of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy day. Nabeela’s father, Rafiq ur Rehman, a school teacher living in the remote Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, was dropping off sweets at his sister’s home when it happened.

 

He had hoped to make the visit a family affair but his mother urged him to go alone. Rafiq did as she wished then stopped at the local mosque for evening prayers before taking the bus home. As the vehicle came to a halt at his stop, Rehman noticed something unsettling: members of his community were preparing to bury a body at a small graveyard nearby.

 

“I got a little worried,” Rehman said. He asked a boy what was going on. The child informed him that the mother of a man named Latif Rehman had been killed in a drone attack. The boy did not know the man he spoke to was Latif Rehman’s younger brother.

 

“That’s when I first knew,” Rehman said, describing how he learned of his mother’s death. The fruits Rehman had collected at the bazaar fell from his hands. “I just dropped everything. I was in a state of shock,” he said. Rehman feared the worst. He knew his children were with their grandmother. “I frantically ran to my house.”

 

Rehman arrived home to find that the charred remains of his mother had already been buried. Two of his children, Nabeela and her 12-year-old brother, Zubair, had been injured and taken to a nearby hospital, neighbors said. “At that point, I thought I had lost them as well,” Rehman said.

 

The children survived the attack, but their recovery process was just beginning. A year later, Rehman still has no idea why his mother, Momina Bibi, a 67-year-old midwife, was blown to pieces while tending her garden. Along with Nabeela and Zubair, Rehman has traveled to Washington DC to seek answers. On Tuesday, the family will appear before members of Congress to describe their experience, marking the first time in history that US lawmakers will hear directly from the survivors of an alleged US drone strike.

 

On Sunday, in their first interview with US media since arriving to the country and speaking through a translator, Rehman and his children described the day Momina Bibi was killed and their efforts since then to find justice. Zubair, now 13, said the sky was clear the day his grandmother died. He had just returned home from school. Everyone had been in high spirits for the holiday, Zubair said, though above their heads aircraft were circling. Not airplanes or helicopters, Zubair said.

 

“I know the difference,” Zubair said, explaining the different features and sounds the vehicles make. “I am certain that it was a drone.” Zubair recalled a pair of “fireballs” tearing through the clear blue sky, after he stepped outside. After the explosion there was darkness, he said, and a mix of smoke and debris.

 

“When it first hit, it was like everyone was just going crazy. They didn’t know what to make of it,” Zubair said. “There was madness.” A piece of shrapnel ripped into the boy’s left leg, just above his kneecap. A scar approximately four inches in length remains. “I felt like I was on fire,” he said. The injury would ultimately require a series of costly operations.

 

Nabeela, the little girl, was collecting okra when the missiles struck. “My grandma was teaching me how you can tell if the okra is ready to be picked,” she said. “All of the sudden there was a big noise. Like a fire had happened.

 

“I was scared. I noticed that my hand was hurting, that there was something that had hit my hand and so I just started running. When I was running I noticed that there was blood coming out of my hand.”

 

Nabeela continued running. The bleeding would not stop. She was eventually scooped up by her neighbors. “I had seen my grandmother right before it had happened but I couldn’t see her after. It was just really dark but I could hear [a] scream when it had hit her.”

 

Early media reports, citing anonymous Pakistani officials, claimed as many as four militants were killed in the attack. The strike drew the attention of an Amnesty International researcher, Mustafa Qadri, who was investigating drone attacks in Pakistan at the time.

 

“We got all sorts of different stories to begin with,” Qadri told the Guardian. “One was that [Bibi] was preparing a meal for some militants and that’s why she was killed. Another one was that there was a militant on a motorbike, right next to her. And then there’s this story of, that there was a militant in a jeep, SUV, with a satellite phone, at the exact point that she’s killed, but 10 minutes earlier. He used the phone and then he drives off into the distance. And then the drones come later and they kill her. So we found that that just really did not add up.”

 

Qadri reached out to trusted sources in North Waziristan. The family members and their neighbors were interviewed independently on multiple occasions, unaware that a human-rights group was behind the questions they were asked. Over the course of many weeks, Qadri found the family’s account to be consistent. He determined it was highly unlikely that any militants were present at the time of the strike and that the missiles were likely fired by a US drone.

 

“It was a number of things,” Qadri told the Guardian. “We got the missiles, the large fragments that the family has that we got analyzed by [an] expert who says this is very likely to be a Hellfire missile. We also had family members who saw drones physically. We also have the eyewitness of the family who said they heard the noise of missiles fired from the sky and then separate noises of missiles impacting on the ground. We have the evidence of a double sound, with each single strike.”

 

Read More Here

 

……….

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad on Thursday, August 01, 2013 .
Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:55PM
Related Interviews:
The Obama administration is quietly releasing more than $1.6 billion in frozen military and financial assistance to Pakistan, ahead of the prime minister’s visit to the White House this week.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Congress has given the green light to dispersing most of the money, which should start moving in early 2014.

The aid was stalled while the two countries’ relationship soured in the wake of the 2011 military raid that killed Osama bin Laden and NATO air strikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers later that year.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House.

“The meeting will highlight the importance and resilience of the US-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism,” the White House said in a description of the meeting.

The White House added that discussions will focus “on ways we can advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan.”

According to the AP report, the State Department began meeting with lawmakers in July and August to inform them of its plans to restart assistance. Those officials, it added, said that broader cooperation from Pakistan led to the resumption of aid, rather than any specific event.

…..

Pakistan tells U.N. at least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes

Residents stand inside a damaged house after a missile attack in Damadola village of the Bajaur tribal region in Pakistan May 15, 2008. REUTERS/Ammad Waheed

UNITED NATIONS | Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:41pm EDT

(Reuters) – Pakistan has confirmed that of some 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, at least 400 were civilians and an additional 200 victims were deemed “probable non-combatants,” a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.

Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, also urged the United States to release its own data on the number of civilian casualties caused by its drone strikes.

Emmerson said Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry told him it had recorded at least 330 drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan’s largely lawless region bordering Afghanistan, since 2004.

Clearing out militant border sanctuaries is seen by Washington as crucial to bringing stability to Afghanistan, particularly as the U.S.-led combat mission ends in 2014. Most, but not all, attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles have been by the United States. Britain and Israel have also used them.

In an interim report to U.N. General Assembly released on Friday, Emmerson said Pakistani government records showed that drone strikes had killed at least 2,200 people and seriously wounded at least 600 since 2004.

He said Pakistan had confirmed that “at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of remotely piloted aircraft strikes and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants.”

“Officials indicated that, owing to underreporting and obstacles to effective investigation, those figures were likely to be an underestimate” of civilian deaths, Emmerson said.

Emmerson, who visited Pakistan in March, noted that principal media monitoring organizations had recorded a “marked drop” in reported civilians casualties from drone strikes in the tribal areas during 2012 and the first half of 2013.

The tribal areas have never been fully integrated into Pakistan’s administrative, economic or judicial system. They are dominated by ethnic Pashtun tribes, some of which have sheltered and supported militants over decades of conflict in Afghanistan.

 

Read More Here

…..
Enhanced by Zemanta
DISASTER MANAGEMENT

India, US trying to hamper Pakistan quake relief: top militant


by Staff Writers


Islamabad (AFP) Oct 14, 2013

 

 

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who has a $10 million US government bounty on his head, said joint US-Indian efforts to block funds for his Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation were aimed at stopping its relief work in Baluchistan, hit by a powerful quake last month.

JuD is seen as a front for Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT), which Saeed founded and which investigators blame for the three-day carnage in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

The United States and India agreed on Sunday to step up cooperation to prevent the financing of extremist movements linked to Pakistan, including JuD and LeT.

But JuD denies terror accusations, and in Pakistan is known for its relief work after natural disasters, particularly the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and 2010 floods.

“Their aim is to hamper the relief work of our charity Falah-e-Insaniyat foundation in the earthquake hit Baluchistan, that’s why they are trying to stop our funding,” Saeed told reporters.

The 7.7-magnitude quake shook the southwestern province of Baluchistan on September 24, killing more than 370 people and leaving more than 100,000 homeless.

Both LeT and JuD are listed as terror organisations by the United Nations, but JuD operates freely in Pakistan and, despite the bounty on his head, Saeed lives openly.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Published on Sep 27, 2013

It will be interesting to see what another large quake might bring…Minus the casulties :(

**********************************************************************

IndiaVision - An Informative Site on India

Pakistan gets three new islands

Thursday – Sep 26, 2013, 06:15pm (GMT+5.5)

New Delhi – Pakistan has just got three brand new islands — thanks to a major earthquake.

When the shock of the temblor subsided Tuesday, people living in the coastal town of Gwadar were stunned to see a new island in the sea.

That’s not all. Two other islands have come up along the Balochistan coast.

“The island near Gwadar is about 600 feet in diameter and has a height of about 30 feet,” Muhammad Moazzam Khan, technical advisor at WWF – Pakistan, told IANS over telephone.

He said “gas was coming out” of the island, which primarily consists of “stones and soft mud”.

The two islands near Ormara town are small.

Khan said the islands had a diameter of about “30-40 feet and a height of about 2-3 feet”.

“Gas is also coming out,” he said.

He said that while some islands which form suddenly “stay on”, others gradually fade away.

He explained that the islands were formed following the massive earthquake that rocked Balochistan province Tuesday.

The death toll in the 7.7-magnitude earthquake has reached 348, and a total of 20,000 houses were destroyed.

This is not the first time islands have formed off the Pakistan coast.

“In 1945, two big islands had formed near the coast. One was two kilometers long while the other was 1/2 km long,” said Khan.

By Rahul Dass

***********************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta
People walk on an island.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck a remote part of Pakistan with enough force to create a small island.

Photograph from Gwadar Government/AP

Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published September 25, 2013

On Tuesday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of western Pakistan, killing more than 260 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. It also triggered formation of a new island off the coast, which has quickly become a global curiosity.

But scientists say the island won’t last long.

“It’s a transient feature,” said Bill Barnhart, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “It will probably be gone within a couple of months. It’s just a big pile of mud that was on the seafloor that got pushed up.”

Indeed, such islands are formed by so-called mud volcanoes, which occur around the world, and Barnhart and other scientists suspect that’s what we’re seeing off the Pakistani coast.

News organizations have reported that the Pakistani island suddenly appeared near the port of Gwadar after the quake. The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) high, up to 300 feet (91 meters) wide, and up to 120 feet (37 meters) long, reports the AFP.

Media reports have located the new island at just a few paces to up to two kilometers off the coast of Pakistan. It is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the epicenter of the earthquake.

Map by National Geographic maps.

The island appears to be primarily made out of mud from the seafloor, although photos show rocks as well, Barnhart told National Geographic. He has has been studying images and media accounts of the new island from his lab in Golden, Colorado.

“It brought up a dead octopus, and people have been picking up fish on [the island],” he said.

A similar mud island appeared off Pakistan after a 2011 earthquake there, Barnhart said: “It lasted a month or two and then washed away.”

How Mud Volcanoes Work

Though mud volcanoes have been seen elsewhere, they don’t always produce islands.

Such volcanoes were seen in California after a 2010 earthquake, Barnhart noted, when the tremors caused carbon dioxide to bubble up through the ground, but the result was “vigorous boiling,” not new islands.

Barnhart said Pakistani scientists will soon be measuring the new landmass to better understand how it formed.

People walk along the island that emerged after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of Pakistan.

Photograph from Gwadar Government/AP

Read More Here

****************************************************************

A Bird’s Eye View of Earth’s Newest Island

This island was created off the coast of Gwadar when Pakistan was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 24, 2013.  Imagery collected on Sept. 26, 2013.

DigitalGlobe / Getty ImagesThis island was created off the coast of Gwadar when Pakistan was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 24, 2013. Imagery collected on Sept. 26, 2013.
***************************************************************
SHAKE AND BLOW

Pakistan quake island unlikely to last: experts


by Staff Writers
Gwadar, Pakistan (AFP) Sept 25, 2013

A small island of mud and rock created by the huge earthquake that hit southwest Pakistan has fascinated locals but experts — who found methane gas rising from it — say it is unlikely to last long.

The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday in Baluchistan’s remote Awaran district, killing at least 271 people and affecting hundreds of thousands.

Off the coastline near the port of Gwadar, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the epicentre, locals were astonished to see the dark grey mass of rock and mud that had emerged from the waves in the Arabian Sea.

“It is not a small thing, but a huge thing which has emerged from under the water,” Gwadar resident Muhammad Rustam told AFP.

“It looked very, very strange to me and also a bit scary because suddenly a huge thing has emerged from the water.”

Enterprising boat owners were doing a brisk trade ferrying curious sightseers to the island — dubbed “Earthquake Mountain” by locals.

Mohammad Danish, a marine biologist from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography, said a team of experts had visited the island and found methane gas rising.

“Our team found bubbles rising from the surface of the island which caught fire when a match was lit and we forbade our team to start any flame. It is methane gas,” Danish said on GEO television news.

The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 metres) high, up to 300 feet wide and up to 120 feet long, he said. It sits about 650 feet from the coast.

The surface was a solid but muddy mix of stones, sand and water with visible cracks, said an AFP cameraman who visited the island. Dead fish and sea plants lay on the surface.

Gary Gibson, a seismologist with Australia’s University of Melbourne, said the new island was likely to be a “mud volcano”, created by methane gas forcing material upwards during the violent shaking of the earthquake.

“It’s happened before in that area but it’s certainly an unusual event, very rare,” Gibson told AFP, adding that it was “very curious” to see such activity some 400 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.

The so-called island is not a fixed structure but a body of mud that will be broken down by wave activity and dispersed over time, the scientist said.

Read More Here

***************************************************************
Enhanced by Zemanta

Provincial official puts death toll from magnitude 7.7 quake in Awaran district in Baluchistan at 210, with 375 people injured

  • theguardian.com, Wednesday 25 September 2013 03.06 EDT

The rubble of a house in Awaran district after the magnitude 7.7 earthquake in Pakistan

The rubble of a house after the magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in Awaran district, Baluchistan province, Pakistan. Photograph: Stringer/Pakistan/Reuters

Rescuers are struggling to help thousands of people injured and left homeless after their houses collapsed in a massive earthquake in south-western Pakistan as the death toll rose to 210, officials said.

The magnitude 7.7 quake struck in the remote district of Awaran in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province on Tuesday afternoon. Such a quake is considered major, capable of widespread and heavy damage.

The tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, the Indian capital, some 740 miles (1,200km) away.

A provincial official, Zahid bin Maqsood, put the death toll at 210 and said 375 people had been injured, while a spokesman for the provincial government, Jan Mohammad Bulaidi, put the death toll at 216 – the conflicting figures likely to be due to the difficulty in contacting local officials and people in the remote region.

In the densely populated city of Karachi on the Arabian Sea and Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, people ran into the streets in panic when the quake it, praying for their lives.-

Read More Here

*************************************************************

 

Advertisement

Pakistanis struggle for food, shelter after quake

AP
Quetta, Pakistan, September 26, 2013
First Published: 10:26 IST(26/9/2013)
Last Updated: 15:44 IST(26/9/2013)

Hungry survivors dug through rubble to find food and thousands slept under the open sky or in makeshift shelters for a second night as the death toll from Pakistan’s massive earthquake rose to 348 on Thursday.

Rescuers battled to reach remote areas of the impoverished region in

the wake of Tuesday’s magnitude 7.7 quake in southwestern Baluchistan province.

The quake had flattened wide swathes of Awaran district where it was centered, leaving much of the population homeless.

The spokesman for the provincial government, Jan Mohammad Bulaidi, said 348 people have been confirmed dead so far and 552 people had been injured.

“We need more tents, more medicine and more food,” Bulaidi said earlier.

In the village of Dalbadi, almost all of the 300 mud-brick homes were destroyed. Noor Ahmad said he was working when the quake struck and rushed home to find his house leveled and his wife and son dead.

“I’m broken,” he said. “I have lost my family.”

Doctors in the village treated some of the injured, but due to a scarcity of medicine and staff, they were mostly seen comforting the survivors.

Awaran district is one of the poorest in the country’s most impoverished province. Many people use four-wheel-drive vehicles and camels to traverse the rough terrain.

Read More Here

*************************************************************

Big Pond

Pakistan earthquake toll reaches 328

Thursday, September 26, 2013 » 06:32am

The death toll from a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday has risen to 328.

Desperate villagers in southwest Pakistan are clawing through the wreckage of their ruined homes, a day after a huge earthquake struck, killing more than 300 people.

The 7.7-magnitude quake hit on Tuesday afternoon in Baluchistan province’s remote and Awaran district.

At least 328 people have been confirmed dead and more than 450 injured, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and the Baluchistan government.

In the village of Dalbedi, the earthquake – Pakistan’s deadliest since the devastating Kashmir quake of 2005, which killed 73,000 – flattened some 250 houses.

Bewildered villagers dug with their hands through the rubble of their mud houses in Dalbedi to retrieve what was left of their meagre possessions.

Their simple houses destroyed, they used rags, old clothes, sheets and tree branches to shelter their families from the sun.

Farmer Noor Ahmed, 45, said the tremors lasted for two minutes and turned buildings in the village into piles of mud.

‘We have lost everything, even our food is now buried under mud, and water from underground channels is now undrinkable because of excessive mud in it due to the earthquake,’ he told AFP.

Read More Here

*************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta
LiveScience
Location of the Chaman Fault in Pakistan.
Location of the Chaman Fault in Pakistan.
Credit: University of Houston

The powerful earthquake that hit Pakistan on Tuesday (Sept. 24) and killed more than 320 people struck along one of the most hazardous yet poorly studied tectonic plate boundaries in the world.

The magnitude-7.7 earthquake was likely centered on a southern strand of the Chaman Fault, said Shuhab Khan, a geoscientist at the University of Houston. In 1935, an earthquake on the northern Chaman Fault killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed the town of Quetta. It was one of the deadliest quakes ever in Southeast Asia.

Shaking from yesterday’s earthquake in Pakistan demolished homes in the Awaran district near the epicenter, according to news reports. The death toll will likely rise as survivors and emergency workers search the debris.

In the hours after the quake, a new island suddenly rose offshore in shallow seas near the town of Gwadar, about 230 miles (380 kilometers) southwest of the epicenter. Geologists with the Pakistan Navy have collected samples from the rocky pile, the Associated Press reported. From pictures and descriptions, many scientists think the mound is a mud volcano, which often erupt after strong earthquakes near the Arabian Sea. A second island has also been reported offshore of Ormara, about 170 miles (280 km) east of Gwadar, Geo News said.

“Other mud volcanoes have been triggered at this distance for similar size earthquakes,” Michael Manga, a geophysicist and expert on mud volcanoes at the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

Little known risk

The unexplained island may have focused unusual global attention on the earthquake, which hit in a region that frequently experiences devastating temblors. [Video: Island Appears After Pakistan Earthquake]

But despite the hazards faced by millions living near the Chaman Fault, a combination of geography and politics means the seismic zone remains little studied. The Taliban killed 10 climbers, including an American,  in northern Pakistan in June.

“Its location is in an area that is very difficult to do any traditional field work,” Khan told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. “I tried twice to submit proposals to [the National Science Foundation] and I got excellent reviews, but the review panel said I was risking my life to work in that area.”

But the National Academy of Sciences felt differently. With their support, Khan and his colleagues in Pakistan and at the University of Cincinnati are now studying the fault’s current and past movement. This will help the researchers forecast future earthquake risk.

“This fault has had very little work and no paleoseismology,” Khan said. “It is really important.”

Complex collision zone

Pakistan’s deadly earthquakes owe their birth to the juncture of three colliding tectonic plates: Indian, Eurasian and Arabian. The Indian and Eurasian plates grind past each other along the Chaman Fault, triggering destructive temblors.

Read More Here

*******************************************************************************

People walk on an island.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck a remote part of Pakistan with enough force to create a small island.

Photograph from Gwadar Government/AP

Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published September 25, 2013

On Tuesday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of western Pakistan, killing more than 260 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. It also triggered formation of a new island off the coast, which has quickly become a global curiosity.

But scientists say the island won’t last long.

“It’s a transient feature,” said Bill Barnhart, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “It will probably be gone within a couple of months. It’s just a big pile of mud that was on the seafloor that got pushed up.”

Indeed, such islands are formed by so-called mud volcanoes, which occur around the world, and Barnhart and other scientists suspect that’s what we’re seeing off the Pakistani coast.

News organizations have reported that the Pakistani island suddenly appeared near the port of Gwadar after the quake. The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) high, up to 300 feet (91 meters) wide, and up to 120 feet (37 meters) long, reports the AFP.

Media reports have located the new island at just a few paces to up to two kilometers off the coast of Pakistan. It is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the epicenter of the earthquake.

Map by National Geographic maps.

The island appears to be primarily made out of mud from the seafloor, although photos show rocks as well, Barnhart told National Geographic. He has has been studying images and media accounts of the new island from his lab in Golden, Colorado.

“It brought up a dead octopus, and people have been picking up fish on [the island],” he said.

Read More Here

*******************************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,574 other followers