CofC: Pakistan earthquake felt in South Carolina

Pakistan earthquake readings.
Pakistan earthquake readings.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A professor at the College of Charleston says a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Pakistan on Tuesday was so strong that it registered on seismometers throughout South Carolina.

Geology professor Steven C. Jaume said the earthquake likely happened on a branch of the Chaman Fault in southwestern Pakistan. Jaume says other large earthquakes have happened on the fault system, including a 1935 earthquake near Quetta, Pakistan, which killed several tens of thousands of people.

According to CofC officials, while Tuesday's earthquake is in a remote region with a low population, researchers at both the U.S. Geological Survey and the World Agency of Planetary Monitoring and Earthquake Risk Reduction in Switzerland forecast fatalities to reach above 1000.

CofC officials say the population in this region generally live in mud brick homes, which are very vulnerable to seismic shaking.

Pakistani news sources have reported a new island appearing in the Arabian Sea just off the south coast of Pakistan.  This is most likely a "mud volcano" island, formed by an eruption of pressured mud.  Similar islands were created during an earthquake on the coast of Pakistan in 1945 and as recently as 2011 a new mud volcano island was featured on the National Geographic Society's website.

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