I remember seeing a fascinating presentation by Mahmood Riyaz on the reef slope failure of this coral reef at the ICRS conference in Florida last year – how the atoll rim was cracking due to the sheer amount of construction and concrete. Welcome to Male, the capital of the Maldives, where >100,000 people are crammed ontop of a coral reef atoll only 1.7km in length. The Maldives have been hit hard in recent years, collectively lost over 2/3 of it’s coral following the 1998 bleaching event. In addition, being such a low lying country is likely to be problematic given the projected sea level rises, so the Maldivian government is proposes a carbon neutral approach by 2020, and is even considering diverting some of the billion dollar tourism profits to purchase a new homeland. The photo above doesn’t do justice to the population density on such a tiny atoll – check the satellite images on google earth.