The tsunami severely affected the Maldives at a distance of 2500 km from the epicenter of the Magnitude 9.0 earthquake. The Maldives provided an opportunity to assess the impact of a tsunami on coral atolls.

Researchers recorded
flow depths up to 4 m on Vilufushi based on the location of debris in trees and watermarks on buildings. Each watermark was localized by means of global positioning systems (GPS) and photographed. Numerous eyewitness interviews were recorded on video. The significantly lower tsunami impact on the Maldives compared to Sri Lanka is largely due to the topography and bathymetry of the atoll chain.

The Maldives are composed of 1,190 islands grouped into 26 atolls, located south-southwest of India. Together, they are roughly 1.7 times the size of Washington, D.C.

3 15 N, 73 00 E

Lowest Point:  Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest Point: Wilingili Island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m