Five things about the Andaman Islands

Sources close to the investigation into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 told Reuters on Friday that radar data showed that the missing plane was deliberately flown across the Malaysian peninsula towards the Andaman Islands. Here are five things about the Andaman Islands.

1. The Andaman islands are a group of islands lying in the Indian Ocean, north of Sumatra, south of Myanmar and approximately 1,400km east of the Indian subcontinent. There are more than 300 islands in the group that cover an area of 6,408 sq km, about nine times the size of Singapore. The Andamans are part of an island chain, together with the Nicobar Islands, that forms a boundary between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

2. The Andaman Islands are mostly administered by India as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory, though some of the northernmost islands in the chain belong to Myanmar.

3. The economy of the Andaman Islands is driven in a large part by its agriculture and fishing industries, though recently is has also turned into a tourist destination due to its beaches and seas, flora and fauna and historical sites.

4. There are 343,739 people living in the Andaman Islands as of 2013. The bulk of the population consists of those who have migrated there during colonial times as well as descendants of the penal colony that was established there during British rule, though a small percentage are members of the indigenous tribes.

5. The islands are near the epicentre of the 2004 Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami that devestated the region and killed more than 200,000 people.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.