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Maldives Geography
Location:
Southern Asia, group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India
Geographic coordinates:
3 15 N, 73 00 E
Map references:
asia
Area:
total: 300 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 300 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 straight baselines
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 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
Natural resources:
fish
Land use:
arable land: 13.33%
permanent crops: 16.67%
other: 70% (2001)
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, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts); archipelago with strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean
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