Batan Island

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This article is about the main island of Batanes. For other uses, see Batan.
Not to be confused with Bataan.
Batan Island
Ph locator batanes batan.png
Batan Island is located in Philippines
Batan Island
Batan Island
Location within the northern extremity of the Philippines
Location Luzon Strait
Coordinates 20°25′17″N 121°57′37″E / 20.42139°N 121.96028°E / 20.42139; 121.96028Coordinates: 20°25′17″N 121°57′37″E / 20.42139°N 121.96028°E / 20.42139; 121.96028
Archipelago Batanes Islands
Adjacent bodies of water
Area 95.18 km2 (36.75 sq mi)[1]
Length 20 km (12 mi)[2]
Width 6.5 km (4.04 mi) at its widest
Highest elevation 1,009 m (3,310 ft)[2]
Highest point Mount Iraya
Region Cagayan Valley
Province Batanes
Population 11,979 (May 1, 2010)[1]
Pop. density 125.85 /km2 (325.95 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Ivatans

Batan Island (/bɑːˈtɑːn/ bah-TAHN[3]) is the main island of Batanes, an archipelagic province in the Philippines. It is the second largest of the Batanes Islands, the northernmost group of islands in the country. Four of the six municipalities of Batanes are located on the 20-kilometer (12 mi) long island including the provincial capital of Basco. The other municipalities are Ivana, Mahatao and Uyugan.


The hilly landscape of Batan Island with Mount Matarem in the distant left

Batan is a dumbbell-shaped volcanic island, part of the Luzon Volcanic Arc. The northern part of the island is dominated by the 1,009-meter (3,310 ft) high active volcano, Mount Iraya, which last erupted in 1454.[2] The lower portion of the island is the inactive volcano Mount Matarem, about 405 meters (1,329 ft) tall.[4][5] A hilly narrow neck of land, about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 mi) long and from 1.9 to 2.5 kilometers (1.2 to 1.6 mi) wide, separates the two volcanoes of the island. Near Mt. Matarem, the island is at its widest at about 6.5 kilometers (4.0 mi).

Sabtang Island, the nearest island to Batan is located about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 mi) southwest of the southern tip of the island. Itbayat, the largest island of the archipelago, is about 32 kilometers (20 mi) northwest of the central part of Batan.


The Japanese invasion of the Philippines began with the invasion of Batan Island by a 490-man naval combat unit and an indeterminate number of air corps troops, on two transports escorted by one destroyer and four torpedo boats. This was the first landing on American territory, the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese forces quickly secured the existing small airfield outside Basco without resistance and began expansion work immediately as a forward base for operations against Luzon. however, work was discontinued only a few days later as the success of the Japanese bombing of Clark Field rendered a base at Basco redundant. On 10 December 1941, the naval combat force was withdrawn.[6]

On June 1, 2008, at 01:57:23.69 UTC, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Batanes Islands (20°07′26″N 121°21′00″E / 20.1240°N 121.3500°E / 20.1240; 121.3500), at a depth of 31 kilometres (19 mi).[7] There were no casualties or damage reported.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b = 020900000&regCode = 02&regName = REGION+II+%28Cagayan+Valley%29 "Province: Batanes". PSGC Interactive. Retrieved on 2013-04-11.
  2. ^ a b c "Iraya". Global Volcanism Program. Retrieved on 2013-04-11.
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (ISBN 0-87779-546-0; Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1997), p. 119.
  4. ^ "Inactive Volcanoes Part 5". Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Retrieved on 2013-04-11.
  5. ^ "Mount Mataram". Google Maps. Retrieved on 2013-04-11.
  6. ^ "The First Landings". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  7. ^ ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System) composite earthquake catalog

External links[edit]