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Vanuatu Country Profile

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Vanuatu at a Glance

Location:Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Climate:tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds from May to October; moderate rainfall from November to April; may be affected by cyclones from December to April
Terrain:mostly mountainous islands of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Resources:manganese, hardwood forests, fish
Hazards:tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
Population:218,519 (July 2009 est.)




A Brief Profile of Vanuatu

Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century. This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.






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