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December 18, 2004

New Maldives island rises from the depths

HULHUMALE, Maldives - Life can be cramped when you live on a remote cluster of tiny coral islands in the Indian Ocean, so the Maldives has plumped for a novel if seemingly extreme solution -- build a new island from scratch.

Emerging from the sea where a turquoise lagoon used to sit, man-made Hulhumale is springing to life as an overflow to the congested capital, Male, a short boat ride away.

Around 1,500 people now live in a first cluster of housing erected on the 188-hectare (465-acre) island, a giant building site to which the government hopes around 15 percent of the country's 300,000 mostly Sunni Muslim inhabitants will opt to migrate over the next 15 years.

December 18, 2004 in Science | Permalink


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