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Vanuatu - Geography

Vanuatu is a 'Y' shaped archipelago of 83 islands. It is located about 1,750 kilometers east of Australia. Fiji lies to the Most of the islands are mountainous and of volcanic origin, and have a tropical or sub-tropical climate. The nation's largest towns are the capital Port Vila, which is situated on Efate, and Luganville, on Espiritu Santo. The highest point in Vanuatu is Mount Tabwemasana, at 1879 m (6158 ft), on the island of Espiritu Santo. east, New Caledonia to the south, and the Solomon Islands to the northwest, all within the area of the South Pacific called Melanesia.

The two largest islands, Espiritu Santo (or Santo) and Malakula, account for nearly one-half of the total land area. They are volcanic, with sharp mountain peaks, plateaus, and lowlands. The larger islands of the remaining half also are volcanic but are overlaid with limestone formations; the smaller ones are coral and limestone. There are several active volcanoes in Vanuatu, including Yasur on the island of Tanna, one of the world's most accesible volcanoes, as well as several underwater ones. Volcanic activity is common with an ever-present danger of a major eruption, the last of which occurred in 1945.

Vanuatu is recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, known as the Vanuatu rain forests.





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