Alor Island

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Coordinates: 8°15′S 124°45′E / 8.250°S 124.750°E / -8.250; 124.750

Alor
Native name: Pulau Alor
Oost-NussaTenggara.png
Map of the islands of East Nusa Tenggara, including Alor in the far northeast
ID - Alor.PNG
Location in Indonesia
Geography
Location Lesser Sunda Islands
Coordinates 8°15′S 124°45′E / 8.250°S 124.750°E / -8.250; 124.750
Archipelago Alor archipelago
Area 2,082.58 km2 (804.09 sq mi)[1]a
Highest elevation 1,423 m (4,669 ft)
Highest point Gunung Muna
Administration
Province East Nusa Tenggara
Regency Alor Regency
Largest settlement Kalabahi (pop. 50,927[1])
Demographics
Population 152,764 (2015[1]a)
Pop. density 73.35 /km2 (189.98 /sq mi)
Additional information
^a Total of 10 out of 17 subdistricts in Alor Regency, and includes several small islands.

Alor (Indonesian: Pulau Alor) is the largest island in the Alor Archipelago and is one of the 92 officially listed outlying islands of Indonesia. It is located at the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands that runs through southeastern Indonesia, which from the west include such islands as Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, and Flores.

To the east of the island across the Ombai Strait lie the islands of Wetar and Atauro, the latter belonging to East Timor. To the south, across the Strait of Alor, lies the western part of Timor. To the north lies the Banda Sea. To the west lies Pantar and the other islands of the Alor archipelago, and further yet the rest of the Sunda Islands.

Alor Island, as well as the rest of its archipelago, is part of East Nusa Tenggara province.

Geography[edit]

Alor has an area of about 2800 km², making it the largest island of the Alor archipelago. Kalabahi is the only town on the island of Alor, with a metropolitan population of about 60,000. The variety of goods obtainable in Kalabahi is surprising considering its size and location. The 2010 census population of the island is 145,299 out of 190,000 in the regency.[2]

Alor is of volcanic origin and has very rugged terrain. The region near Kalabahi is the only flat area. This may be why the Dutch chose the location as the capital and main harbor (Alor-Kecil) in 1911.

On 12 November 2004, an earthquake occurred, killing 34 people, and injuring 400. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe).[3]

Economy[edit]

The island's infrastructure is only weakly built. The inhabitants practice mainly subsistence agriculture. The government seeks to change this with the help of international organizations. In the villages, vanilla, tamarind, almonds (Canarium) and other nuts are cultivated. In the forests sandalwood is cut down for trade.

The latest geological explorations have discovered valuable resources such as gypsum, kaolin, petroleum, natural gas, tin, gold, and diamonds. Alor's snorkelling and diving may promise an increase in tourism in the future. Alor hosts some of the most healthy and diverse corals in Indonesia and has areas of black volcanic sand for specialized scuba diving interests.

Alor warriors, 1895.

Religion[edit]

Over 168,000 people (2001) live on Alor.[4] Three-fourths are Protestants, the rest are either Muslims or in a few villages Roman Catholics. Animistic rites and traditions are still strongly practiced.

Language[edit]

More than 15 different indigenous languages are spoken on Alor, the majority of them classified as Papuan or non-Austronesian. These include Abui, Adang, Hamap, Kabola, Kafoa, Woisika, Kelon, and Kui. In addition, Alorese (Bahasa Alor; ISO 639-3: aol) is a Malayo-Polynesian language which is spoken along the coast of the western and southern Bird's Head of Alor Island and in places on surrounding islands.

Many of the Papuan languages of Alor are endangered and are no longer being actively acquired by children. Some languages have fewer than 1000 speakers remaining. Significant linguistic documentation efforts have been undertaken recently by Leiden University. The language of daily communication is Alor Malay, a unique Malay variety with some similarities to Kupang Malay. Indonesian is taught in schools and used widely in media.

Transportation[edit]

Alor is served by Alor Mali Airport (ARD). The airport is small, and all incoming and outgoing flights are thus via Kupang Airport (KOE). Alor is serviced 3–4 times daily by both Lion Air (Wings) and NAM Air. Flights originating in Bali, Surabaya or Jakarta with the final destination of Alor stop in Kupang to change planes. Flights from Labuan Bajo, Ende, Maumere, Makassar do not yet have direct service.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]