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/ 02:59 AM June 21, 2011

The Scarborough Shoal (Philippine name: Panatag Shoal; Chinese name: Huangyan Dao) is a triangle-shaped chain of reefs and islands surrounding a lagoon.

Near the mouth of the lagoon are ruins of an iron tower, which was constructed by the Philippine Navy in 1965.

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The closest land mass to Scarborough Shoal is Palauig, Zambales province, at 220 kilometers.

Several of the islands in Scarborough are three meters high, while many of the reefs are below water at high tide.

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Several rocks also dot Scarborough, the most prominent of which is called South Rock, 1.8 meters above water at high tide.

The abundant marine resources in the area attract fishermen from both China and the Philippines.

Hundreds of ships pass through the vicinity of Scarborough. A 1999 bulletin by the University of Durham International Boundaries Research Unit said Japan used the route to transport 80 percent of its petroleum from the Middle East.

Both China and the Philippines have claimed Scarborough Shoal as part of their territory. Inquirer Research

Source: National Mapping and Resource Information Authority; Scarborough Evening News; Ibru Boundary and Security Bulletin

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TAGS: islands, lagoon, Philippine Navy, reefs, Scarborough shoal
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