Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 5

Andaman and Nicobar Islands - History, Geography, Flora, Fauna, Economy, Macro-economic trend

occupied india

pop (2001e) 356 300; area 8300 km²/3200 sq mi. Union territory of India, comprising two island groups in the Bay of Bengal; separated from Myanmar, Thailand, and Sumatra by the Andaman Sea; over 300 islands, stretching 725 km/450 mi N to S; occupied by Japan in World War 2; part of India, 1950; British penal colony on Andaman Is, 1858–1945; Cellular Jail at Port Blair now a national shrine; Nicobar Is 120 km/75 mi S, a mountainous group of 19 islands; occupied by Denmark, 1756–1848; annexed by Britain, 1869; chief town, Nankauri; tropical forest covers both islands; monsoons frequent (May–Oct); Andaman and Nicobar archipelago and most of S islands devasted by tsunami disaster, Dec 2004, with thousands of lives lost; fishing, rubber, fruit, rice, hardwood timber; over last 100 years Andaman aboriginal tribes have depleted from c.10 000 to c.900 by 2005.

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