Nicobar Islands

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ănˈdəmən, nĭkˈōbär), union territory (2001 provisional pop. 356,265), India, in the Bay of Bengal. Port Blair, in the Andamans, is the capital. Comprising the Andaman Islands, or Andaman Archipelago (2,508 sq mi/6,496 sq km), in the north and the Nicobar Islands (707 sq mi/1,831 sq km) in the south, the two groups form an arc between SW Myanmar in the north and NW Sumatra, Indonesia, in the south. The territory chiefly exports tropical products and lumber. Tourism is economically important. The islands, less than 40 of which are inhabited, are administered by the home ministry in the central Indian government.

Known to Europeans since the 7th cent. A.D., the Andamans, consisting of some 550 mostly small islands, were the site of a British penal colony from 1858 to 1945. Barren Island, c.50 mi (80 km) east of the central Andamans, is the territory's and India's only active volcano. The population of the Andamans is made up of indigenous Negritos (numbering less than 1,000) and largely Bengali and Tamil settlers from the Indian mainland. Settlers greatly outnumber the indigenous peoples, hundreds of which died from epidemics in the late 19th cent. Some of the Negritos live largely isolated from the settlers and have preserved a Stone Age culture; their isolation is protected by the Indian government.

The Nicobars, which comprise 22 small islands, are separated from the Andamans by a channel that is 90 mi (145 km) wide. The native population is of Mongolic stock. The Nicobars became a British possession in 1869. Japanese forces occupied both archipelagos during World War II.

Since World War II and Indian independence, some of the islands have undergone significant population growth and economic development, include Indian military bases, and regular air and ship services connect the islands with the mainland. The islands were especially hard-hit by the Dec., 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami, because of their relative closeness to the epicenter (off NW Sumatra) of the earthquake that caused the waves; some 3,500 people are believed to have died.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nicobar Islands


a group of 19 islands, 12 of which are inhabited, between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean near the Indian mainland. They cover an area of 1,600 sq km.

The Nicobar Islands are a continuation of the Arakan Mountains and the chain of Andaman Islands. Maximum elevation is 642 m. The islands are formed primarily of schists and sandstone; the small islands are formed of coral limestone. There is a subequatorial monsoonal climate. Annual precipitation ranges from 2,200 to 3,200 mm. The southern islands are covered with tropical evergreen forests; the northern islands, with high grassy meadows. There are coconut palm plantations; there is also fishing (including sea cucumber, or trepang, and shellfish) and the gathering of birds’ nests.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thunderstorm accompanied with Squall very likely at isolated places over Andaman & Nicobar Islands and with lightning over Jharkhand and Odisha.
The Port Management Board, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has called for an Expression of Interest (EoI) from global players to participate in the terminal development under the private-public-partnership mode.
In a later study, researchers sequenced 445 archival blood samples from human malaria cases from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and found 11.9% (53) were positive for P.
According to a statement documenting a 'Shared Vision of India-Indonesia Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific', the two sides will take necessary steps to enhance connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and provinces in Sumatera Island to promote trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts; facilitate Business to Business linkages between the Chamber of Commerce of Andaman and the ones of the Provinces in Sumatera, including Aceh.
! New Delhi, Jumada I 20, 1435, Mar 21, 2014, SPA -- A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off India's Andaman and Nicobar Island archipelago on Friday, the country's Metereological Department reported.
Small waves about half-a-metre high and within normal tide limits had already washed into the Campbell Bay area on the Great Nicobar island, the official said.
Vivek Rae, the chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said on Sunday afternoon that the tremors were still being felt across the Union Territory.
The quake hit the Indian Ocean around 160km from India's Nicobar islands, the US Geological Survey said.
However, in Nicobar Islands, the vector control measures are very difficult owing to the inaccessible breeding habitats (6) of Oc.
A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.2 hit India's southern Nicobar Islands yesterday.
Summary: Kamorta (Andaman and Nicobar) [India], Aug 30 (ANI): The Indian Coast Guard on Friday evacuated as many as 50 people from a grounded ferry boat at Kamorta, Andaman and Nicobar islands.