The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,190 islands (fewer than 200 are inhabited) in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. Maldives has a population of just over 400,000, of whom about one quarter reside in Male, the capital city. Beautiful atolls, inhabited by over 1,100 species of fish and other sea life, attract thousands of visitors each year. Tourism facilities are well developed on the resort islands. The tsunami of December 26, 2004 damaged several hotels and facilities on some of the islands, but all damaged tourism infrastructure has been rebuilt. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Maldives for additional information.