Raa Atoll

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Raa Atoll

Raa Atoll is 35 miles (56km) in length from North to South, and 15 miles (24km) across at its broadest part. The western fringe of the atoll is composed of a series of round or oval, irregularly placed, reefs - a feature peculiar to all the larger Northern Atolls. The centre of the atoll is heavily dotted with coral patches - called giris in the local language - some submerged and some awash. These giris are especially dense around the southwest area of the atoll, near to the island of Kandholhudhu which was abandoned after the Tsunami of 2004 completely destroyed the island. It is believed that the area has the most number of small reefs and shoals in the entire Maldives. Surprisingly, the narrower northern end of the atoll is clear of such reefs.

There are 88 islands in the atoll and 15 of them are inhabited. The capital island is Ungoofaaru, home to a population of about 1,200. The island contains a well-equipped Regional Hospital that provides health care for the people of the entire atoll. The residents of Ungoofaaru are skilled fishermen and have access to some of the best fishing grounds in the country. The island has in recent years undergone major reclamation work in order to provide additional land for social and economic activities for the growing population.

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