Coral Islands Survive a Tsunami

Tiny islands far out in the ocean can weather the giant waves of a tsunami.

By Carolyn Gramling, 00:00 AM March 23, 2006

Tiny coral-reef islands far out in the ocean may seem fragile. But scientists now know that they aren't so easily swept away.

The December 2004 Sumatran tsunami battered, but didn't break, the 1,192 atolls of the Maldives. This image, taken by NASA's Terra spacecraft, shows some of the atolls.

The December 2004 Sumatran tsunami battered, but didn't break, the 1,192 atolls of the Maldives. This image, taken by NASA's Terra spacecraft, shows some of the atolls.

NASA/GSFC/ASTER Science Team

In December 2004, a large, undersea earthquake rumbled in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sumatra. The earthquake triggered a tsunami, or a series of large, destructiv...

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