maldives
Royal Island Maldives - Know Maldives
Location
Southern Asia group of atolls in the Indian Ocean south-southwest of India The Maldive islands stretch from the southern tip of India down to the equator. There are 1,196 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean ,making this one of the most disparate countries in the world.

Geographic coordinates
3 15 N, 73 00 E

Area:
Total 300 sq km : land: 300 sq km ; water: 0 sq km .Area - comparative: about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC ; Land boundaries: 0 km ;Coastline: 644 km

Maritime claims
Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines; contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm ;territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate
Tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)

Terrain
Flat, with white sandy beaches ;Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m (the Maldives are the flattest country in the world).

Natural resources
Fish

Land use
Arable land: 10% ;permanent crops: 0% ;permanent pastures: 3% ;forests and woodland: 3% ;other: 84% (1993 est.) Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards
Low level of islands makes them very sensitive to sea level rise

Environment - current issues
Depletion of freshwater aquifers threatens water supplies; global warming and sea level rise; coral reef bleaching

Environment - international agreements
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note
1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago of strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean.
The biggest island of the Maldives is Fuvahmulah, which is a single island and single atoll located in the southern part of the Maldives known the Ganaviyani atoll. In Addu atoll most of the islands are connected by roads over the reef and the total length of the road is 12 km.               
                    
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