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The maldives consists of a chain of atolls stretching 860 kilometers southward from Sri Lanka into the Indian Ocean. While the Maldives encompasses a total of 1,192 atolls raging in size from 0.5 to 5.16 square kilometers, only 199 are inhabited. Over time, this number is falling as smaller, less-populated atolls are abandoned by choice or through government policies to centralize populations. Most atolls are highly vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal erosion. Approximately 80 percent of atolls rise less than one meter above mean sea level, with the highest point of the country being only three meters above sea level. This also makes the country highly vulnerable to tidal surges and tsunamis. Significant damage to tourist resorts and inhabited atolls, as well as ...

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