The islands of the Maldives lie across the equator between 7° 6’ 30” and 0° 41’ 48” south and between 72° 32’ 30” and 73° 45’ 54” east of Greenwich. The small islands are grouped into 26 natural atolls and cover an area of about 118,000 sq km of which total land area is about 298 sq km. The atolls, stretch from north to south for about 764 kilometres and spread to 128 kilometres at the widest point. The equator cuts across the country between the southernmost atolls, laying Addu and Fuamulaku to the south and Huvadhu Atoll to the north.
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