Researchers find deepest hole in the world. See it here

The blue hole was found to just over 984 ft. deep, easily surpassing the previous record of 663 ft.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 5:20 – Chinese researchers have confirmed the world’s deepest underwater sinkhole, or blue hole, lies at a site in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.

The blue hole was found to just over 300 meters deep [984 ft.], easily surpassing the previous record of 202 meters [663 ft.], the researchers confirmed on Friday.

Traditionally known as Longdong, or “Dragon Hole”, the natural marvel is located at 16.31 degrees north latitude and 111.46 degrees east longitude in Yongle, a major coral reef of the Xisha Islands. Locals call the phenomenon the “eye” of the South China Sea.

Some local fishermen’s interpretation of the 16th-century classic novel, “Journey to the West”, point towards the sinkhole being the site where the hero’s weapon, a golden cudgel, originates.

The latest exploration project, which lasted from August 2015 until June this year, found the hole to be 300.89 meters [987.17 ft.] deep with a 130-meter-diameter-wide [426.5-foot-diameter-wide] entrance, said Fu Liang, head of the Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection, at a press conference on Friday.

Supported by the Sansha City Government on south China’s island province of Hainan, the institute explored the sinkhole using an underwater robot fitted with a depth sensor.

Researchers from the institute have also detected more than 20 fish species and other marine organisms present in the upper levels of the sinkhole.

The blue hole is almost oxygen free below 330 ft., meaning life is unlikely at its deepest extremities.

The findings have been recognized by an expert panel headed by Meng Wei, a leading academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

A blue hole is a roughly circular sinkhole, with the name reflecting the color contrast between the dark blue inside the hole compared with the light blue water surrounding it.

Prior to the new findings, the 202-meter-deep [663-foot-deep] Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas was considered the world’s deepest known blue hole with an underwater entrance.

Panel leader Meng said blue holes are peculiar marine landforms that are important for marine research and the construction of marine projects.

The panel has also advised authorities to take measures to protect and exploit the unique blue hole in the future.

July 27, 2016 Posted Under: News update   Read More

Indian troops martyr four Kashmiri youth


ISLAMABAD – Indian troops, in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred four Kashmiri youth in Kupwara district, on Tuesday.

According to KMS, the troops killed the youth during a siege and search operation in Nawgam area of the district. Indian army claimed that the youth were militants and were killed in an encounter with the troops.

Authorities partially lifted a curfew in Srinagar Tuesday after 17 days of lockdown, but protesters continued to clash with police in the main city of Indian-administered Kashmir following two weeks of deadly violence, AFP reported.

It was unclear whether the lifting of the curfew was simply a temporary move to allow angry protesters some release, or if the relaxation of restrictions would continue.

Mobile and internet networks remained suspended in Srinagar and across the restive territory, while a curfew was still in force in southern areas, where most of the 50 deaths have occurred.

“Curfew shall continue without any relaxation in Islamabad, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama districts while restrictions will remain in force in parts of Srinagar, Sopore and Kupwara,” a senior police official told media men.

Kashmiris won’t surrender

The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Syed Ali Geelani, said yesterday the Kashmir i people will not surrender before the Indian atrocities and one day Indian rulers will have to accept the Kashmiris’ demand for right to self-determination.

Geelani in an interview in Srinagar termed the imposition of restrictions by the authorities to prevent a march towards Islamabad district on Monday as undemocratic, illegal, and moral.

He said Kashmiri people, particularly youth, had resolved that their first priority would be mission of freedom from Indian occupation and no other need or necessity would come to their way.

The APHC Chairman paid glowing tributes to all the martyrs of Kashmir, stating that the Kashmiris would continue the sacred mission of these martyrs till the dawn of freedom was witnessed.

“Hardships and sufferings are the essential and unavoidable part of the struggle and we should face these difficulties with utter patience and courage,” he added.

Geelani lashed out at Indian police and the puppet authorities for using excessive and unnecessary force against the common people and the pro-freedom leadership.

Troops attack journalist for exposing CM Mehbooba.

Indian armed forces’ personnel attacked a Kashmiri journalist in Bijbehara town due to publication of his article which exposed the puppet Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s doublespeak.

According to KMS, the author, Murtaza Shibli, said the attack was carried out as an act of revenge . “A day after I published an article dissecting (puppet) CM’s display of crocodile tears for families of those slain by her own forces, an unruly group of police attacked our locality,” Shibli said.

“Few hours after my story was published, I heard from some sources that the local unit of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mufti was enraged and wanted revenge. Mufti, like her father, is very concerned about her public image and has invested millions to circulate falsehoods and manipulations through an army of media consultants, PDP-affiliated newspapers and journalists,” he added.
“Last evening, when I went for a usual stroll down the main road and was half way towards the old-town, several of my well-wishers and friends advised me to go home early as PDP was planning to attack me, because my expose of Mehbooba Mufti had caused them a deep embarrassment. I was even told by a source that Mufti’s cousin and a provincial party leader, Sajjad Mufti, had promised a tough action against me.”

The uniformed men attacked several houses, breaking windowpanes and destroying properties. The worst damage was caused to author’s parental house where he currently stayed. For almost half an hour, the police-CRPF combine targeted houses with stones and batons, destroying windows, window frames causing damage worth lacks of rupees.

July 27, 2016 Posted Under: News update   Read More

China tells world to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty

China on Thursday asked the international community to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity nearly three weeks after an American drone strike killed Afghan Taliban chief in Balochistan.

“The international community should fully recognize that and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Hong Lei, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Thursday.

June 10, 2016 Posted Under: News update   Read More

OMV pledges $45m investment in Pakistan this year

ISLAMABAD: While pledging to step up oil and gas exploration in Pakistan, Austria-based OMV has announced that it will pump $45 million into tapping hydrocarbon reserves this year to meet energy needs of the country.

“OMV has invested $2.5 billion in oil and gas exploration since commencing operations in 1991 in Pakistan and the company is investing $45 million this year,” OMV Aktiengesellschaft Executive Board Chairman and CEO Dr Rainer Seele said while addressing a ceremony held on Thursday to celebrate 25 years in Pakistan. Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also spoke at the event.

OMV pledges $45m investment in PakistanRecalling the company’s journey, the CEO said OMV started working in Pakistan 25 years ago and within two years it made the first discovery at Miano field in the Thar desert of Sindh. In 1998, it discovered gas at Sawan field, which is also located in Sindh.

From 1991 to date, the company has expanded operations from Sindh to Balochistan and Punjab.

At present, OMV is producing 8% of Pakistan’s total natural gas output and is increasing investment.

OMV (Pakistan) has established itself as the largest international gas producer in Pakistan with a volume of more than 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Kadanwari-Miano and Sawan fields.

OMV CEO said parallel to the Sawan development work, the company also took over the Kadanwari gas processing plant in January 2003 from Lasmo, currently Eni.

OMV has remained quite aggressive in development work as capacity of the Kadanwari processing plant has been enhanced to 232 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) while capacity of the Sawan plant has gone up to 400mmcfd.

“To further meet raw gas requirements, drilling has continued successfully in both fields,” he said.

Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while pointing to a huge gap between the demand and supply of gas, said they were striving to bridge the shortfall through import of liquefied natural gas and exploration of domestic oil and gas deposits.

He saw a big potential for tight, shale and conventional gas production in Pakistan and highlighted that the government was offering the most attractive wellhead oil and gas prices and asked international and local companies to take advantage of the situation.

Ref: Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2016.

May 28, 2016 Posted Under: News update   Read More