PARADISE LOST (II)  In February 2015 I embarked on a research expedition to the abandoned island of Genmendoo, in the Raa Atoll of The Maldives.  Gemendhoo was once a fishing village of 460 - large by local standards, and one of seven inhabited islands within the atoll. Most of the villagers were families between five and ten people, living in one- or two-room houses. The 2004 tsunami destroyed every building on the island and took with it eight lives, including two babies. Genmendhoo was abandoned almost instantaneously, and the majority of the population rehoused by the government on nearby Kudahuvadhoo, the atoll Capital.   Gemendhoo is part of a line of eleven closely-connected uninhabited islands running north to south. During low tides the sand flats which run between the islands are exposed and a thin connecting sand passage opens up, allowing the islands to be walked between along for a stretch of 7 kilometers from Bulhalafushi in the north to Naibukaloabodufushi in the south. Each island is covered by dense rainforest, coconut plantation and an abundance of mosquitoes.  I was lucky enough to access the island to photodocument the remains of an otherwise deserted paradise.
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