Faaite

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Faaite
Faaite2.jpg
NASA picture of Faaite Atoll
Faaite is located in French Polynesia
Faaite
Geography
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 16°43′S 145°19′W / 16.717°S 145.317°W / -16.717; -145.317
Archipelago Tuamotu archipelago
Area 227 km2 (88 sq mi) (lagoon)
8.87 km² (above water)
Length 28 km (17.4 mi)
Width 10.5 km (6.52 mi)
Country
France
Commune Anaa
Largest city Hitianau (pop. 246)
Demographics
Population 366 (as of 2007)
NASA picture of Faaite Atoll.

Faaite, or Faaiti, is an atoll of the Tuamotus in French Polynesia. It is located 60 km to the north of Anaa Atoll. The total surface of the atoll is 227 km² Its dry land area is 8.87 km². Its length is 28 km and its width 10.5 km. The total population as of 2007 is 366 inhabitants.

Faaite's inner lagoon has a navigable channel to the ocean. The main village is Hitianau, with a total population of 246.

History[edit]

First recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós on 11 February 1606. It was charted as Decena (ten in Spanish). [1]

John Turnbull rediscovered it in 1802. Turnbull was the first retailer of the Pacific who used the route of Tahiti to Hawaii.

Russian oceanic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen visited Faaite in 1820 on the ships Vostok and Mirni. He named this atoll "Miloradovich".

This atoll reached a measure of fame after the "Bûchers de Faaite" affair. On September 2 1987 six persons were thrown into the fire (some of them by their own children) because the islanders were convinced that they were possessed by the devil.

There is a territorial (domestic) airfield in Faaite which was inaugurated in 1992.

Administration[edit]

Administratively Faaite belongs to the commune of Anaa, which includes the inhabited atoll of Faaite and the uninhabited atolls of Tahanea and Motutunga.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beltrán y Rozpide, Ricardo "Las islas Tuamotu", Boletín de la Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid. t.XV, 2º semestre de 1881, pp-7-54.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 16°43′S 145°19′W / 16.717°S 145.317°W / -16.717; -145.317