Geography

Atolls

 

The Maldives has 26 naturally occurring atolls which are divided into 20 administrative ones:

  1. Haa Alifu Atoll – (Thiladhunmathee Uthuruburi)
  2. Haa Dhaalu Atoll – (Thiladhunmathee Dhekunuburi)
  3. Shaviyani Atoll – (Miladhunmadulu Uthuruburi)
  4. Noonu Atoll – (Miladhunmadulu Dhekunuburi)
  5. Raa Atoll – (Maalhosmadulu Uthuruburi)
  6. Baa Atoll – (Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi)
  7. Lhaviyani Atoll – (Faadhippolhu)
  8. Kaafu Atoll – (Malé Atholhu)
  9. Alif Alif Atoll – (Ari Atholhu Uthuruburi)
  10. Alif Dhaalu Atoll – (Ari Atholhu Dhekunuburi)
  11. Vaavu Atoll – (Felidhe Atholhu)
  12. Meemu Atoll – (Mulaku Atholhu)
  13. Faafu Atoll – (Nilandhe Atholhu Uthuruburi)
  14. Dhaalu Atoll – (Nilandhe Atholhu Dhekunuburi)
  15. Thaa Atoll – (Kolhumadulu Atholhu)
  16. Laamu Atoll – (Hadhdhummathi Atholhu)
  17. Gaafu Alif Atoll – (Huvadhu Atholhu Uthuruburi)
  18. Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll – (Huvadhu Atholhu Dhekunuburi)
  19. Gnaviyani Atoll – (Foahmulah)
  20. Seenu Atoll – (Addu Atholhu)

An atoll is a group of islands with a reef that nearly or entirely encloses a ring-like lagoon. The English word ‘atoll’ originated from the Dhivehi (official language of Maldives) word ‘Atholhu’.

Geographical Facts

 

Coordinates: between 7° 6′ 35″ and 0° 42′ 24″ south and between 72° 33′ 19″ and 73° 46′ 13″ east of Greenwich
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): 359,00sq km
Area: 118, 000 sq km (land = 298 sq km)
Number of Islands: 1,192 islands (inhabited = 199; uninhabited = 993) – out of which 87 are exclusive resort islands. The islands are grouped into 19 natural atolls – divided into 20 for administrative purposes
Capital: Malé (population = 137,200)
Terrain: Low lying small islands with flat terrain (average 1.2m above sea level)
Climate: Sub-tropical, with two monsoons, hot, humid and dry in northeast monsoon (November to March) and rainy in southwest monsoon (June to August) Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 29 – 32 degrees Celsius. Generally warm and humid.

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