Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No volcano in quake-hit Pakistan - geologists

Fears of a volcano pushing through the earthquake-shattered mountains of northern Pakistan have proved unfounded, geologists said on Wednesday. People in the remote Alai valley of North West Frontier Province had mistaken dust arising from landslides triggered by a strong aftershock on Sunday for smoke, said Allah Bakhsh Kausar, of the Geological Survey of Pakistan.

"I have spoken to the geologists sent to the area last night and they said there was no volcanic activity there," he told Reuters after the army flew a team of experts to the area by helicopter.

"The dust and fog hang in the air for a while because of the cold and it triggered panic in the area," he said following the aftershock of 6.0 magnitude which had its epicentre near the valley.

"There is no crack in the mountains, there is no eruption," Kausar told Reuters.

The aftershock was one of the strongest of around 900 recorded since Oct. 8 quake, which killed more than 53,000 people and left over 75,000 seriously injured.

Source: Reuters
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