Hikueru

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Hikueru
Hikueru2.jpg
NASA picture of Hikueru Atoll
Hikueru is located in French Polynesia
Hikueru
Hikueru
Location in French Polynesia
Geography
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 17°35′20″S 142°37′00″W / 17.58889°S 142.61667°W / -17.58889; -142.61667Coordinates: 17°35′20″S 142°37′00″W / 17.58889°S 142.61667°W / -17.58889; -142.61667
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 79 km2 (31 sq mi)  (lagoon)
8 km2 (3 sq mi) (above water)
Length 15 km (9.3 mi)
Width 9.5 km (5.9 mi)
Administration
France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Îles Tuamotu-Gambier
Commune Hikueru
Largest settlement Tupapati
Demographics
Population 150[1] (2012)

Hikueru, Tiveru, or Te Kārena,[2] is one of the Central Tuamotu atolls. The closest land to Hikueru is Tekokota Atoll, located 22 km to the north.

Hikueru Atoll's shape is roughly oval and it is 15 km in length and 9.5 km in width. It covers a land area of 8 km² and a lagoon area of 79 km². There are many motu on its reef with a combined land area of about 25 km². Its lagoon is deep, with numerous coral heads. It has no pass to enter it.

At the 2012 census, the population of the commune of Hikueru was 241, of which 150 on Hikueru proper, and 91 on the atoll of Marokau.[3] Its most important village is Tupapati, located on the atoll Hikueru. There is a territorial airport on Hikueru which was opened in 2000.

Hikueru was the setting for Armstrong Sperry's novel Call It Courage, which won the Newbery Medal in 1940.

Demographics[edit]

Atoll Population (2012) Area (km²)
Hikueru 150 8
Marokau 91 14.7
Ravahere 0 7
Reitoru 0 1.4
Tekokota 0 0.9
Total 241 32

History[edit]

Hikueru Atoll was discovered by Bougainville in 1768. Spanish navigator Domingo de Boenechea sighted Hikueru in 1774 on his ship the Aguila. He named this atoll "San Juan".[4]

Like Marokau, Hikueru used to be a large natural pearl oyster reserve. The 1903 cyclone wrought considerable damage, however, and caused the death of 377 people, including 261 from the island of Hao. In his "South Sea Tales", Jack London gives a vivid description of this disastrous hurricane.

In the 1988 census, only 123 inhabitants were found to be still living on Hikueru. This was up to 268 by 2007. The population of this island makes a living by collecting copra. Up to the 1970s, it was one of the main deep-sea diving centres in the Tuamotu atolls.[5]

Transports[edit]

The atoll is served by the Hikueru Airport (IATA: HHZICAO: NTGH).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known.". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française, 2012 census results
  4. ^ NZTEC - Spanish voyages of the 18th century
  5. ^ UM - Hikueru

External links[edit]