Andaman Islands
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Andaman Islands

February 19, 2010
The Andaman Islands are an archipelago of 500 separate islands located in the Bay of Bengal. A clear day over the region gave the MODIS on the Aqua satellite this view on February 13, 2010. The Andaman and the neighboring Nicobar Islands (to the south, not shown in this image) are inhabited by several hundred thousand persons, a mix of indigenous islanders and immigrants from the mainland of India.

The islands have a moderate, tropical climate and a rich mixture of sandy beaches, mangroves, and dense tropical forests perched atop a rugged mountainous interior. The west side of the island is home to an extensive coral reef system, measuring over 300 kilometers (186 miles) in length. The islands are in a tectonically active region, close to where the massive earthquake (and ensuing tsunami) occurred on December 26, 2004. On that date, the on-going collision of the Indo-Australian and southeastern Eurasian plates caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands in the region and tens of thousands on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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