(FILES) This photograph taken on September 9, 2013, shows an aerial view of the island of Male, the capital of the Maldives. Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on November 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ Roberto SCHMIDT/FILES
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Coral reefs in the Maldives are under severe stress after suffering mass bleaching this year as sea temperatures soared, a top conservationist body warned Monday.Around 60 percent of Maldives' coral colonies have been bleached, with the figure reaching 90 percent in some areas, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in a statement.Coral reef and bleaching experts from 11 countries and international institutions and universities helped conduct the survey at the height of the 2016 El Nino event, the statement said.The Maldives, a nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands, contain around three percent of global coral reefs.The Maldives is not the only place where coral reefs are threatened.This year, Australia's 2,300-kilometer (1,429-mile) long Great Barrier Reef the world's biggest coral ecosystem -- is suffering from its worst bleaching in recorded history.
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