Satawan

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Satawan is located in Pacific Ocean
Satawan
Satawan
Location of Satawan Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
NASA picture of Satawan Atoll

Satawan Atoll is an atoll located about 250 km to the southeast of Chuuk proper.[1] Geographically it is part of the Nomoi or Mortlock Islands in the Carolines and administratively it is part of Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia. 3,000 people live on 5 km2.

A Japanese airfield was located on the atoll during World War II.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Satawan Atoll administratively consists of four of the 40 municipalities of Chuuk State, named after the principal islets:

  1. Satowan (Satawan) (east)
  2. Ta (south)
  3. Kuttu (Kutu) (west)
  4. Moch (More) (north)

Satowan and Ta municipalities are statistically grouped with the "Lower Mortlocks", and Kuttu and Moch municipalities with the "Mid Mortlocks".

Satawan Atoll had a population of 2,935 as of the 2000 census. Satawan Atoll is located at 5°18′N 153°42′E / 5.30°N 153.70°E / 5.30; 153.70 and has a total area of 419 km² (including the lagoon), but a land area of 4.6 km² only.

History[edit]

Captain James Mortlock discovered two sets of islands on 19 and 27 November 1795. Confusingly, both were later called Mortlock Islands.[2]

During World War II the Japanese garrison on the Mortlock Islands, under the command of Colonel Masatake Tobita, consisted of 753 IJA men including a company of six medium tanks and 257 IJN men including air base crew.[3] Some World War II relics left by the Japanese can be found on Satawan. These include tanks (which may be seen on the main road), a few small planes, (the island was at one point home to a Japanese airstrip), and stone look-out posts along the north east coast. One can walk from Satawan to Ta via the reef at low tide. Near the end that is towards the island called Ta is a large cannon left over from the Japanese that points out into the ocean. There are an elementary school and a high school that serve the islanders. There is no electricity, running water or communication (other than one CB radio that can reach as far as Chuuk). Until May 2010, the only transportation to this island was a fishing boat carrying freight called the Nomasepi. About once a month it did a six day circuit around the Mortlocks from Weno, but for now has been stopped. The cost of the six day round trip was 40 dollars. Each island has its own local constitution which currently allows for a Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The only taxes are a 5 dollar fee per year for owning a dog. According to local estimates as of May 2010, the population is between 400 and 700.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Oceandots - Satawan at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)
  2. ^ "MAR/B/427/A, Log of the "Young William", Captain James Mortlock. Found in the British Library.
  3. ^ Takizawa, Akira; Alsleben, Allan (1999–2000). "Japanese garrisons on the by-passed Pacific Islands 1944-1945". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 05°18′N 153°42′E / 5.300°N 153.700°E / 5.300; 153.700