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Landsat picture of Namdik Atoll
|Area||2.8 km2 (1.1 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
Namdrik Atoll or Namorik Atoll (Marshallese: Nam̧dik, [nʲæ͡ɑmˠ(ʌ͡ɛ)r̪ʲi͡ɯk]) is a coral atoll of two islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. Its total land area is only 2.8 square kilometres (1.1 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon with an area of 8.4 square kilometres (3.2 sq mi).
Namdrik Atoll is located approximately 145 kilometres (90 mi) west-southwest of Jaluit, and 117 kilometres (73 mi) northwest of Ebon Atoll. The atoll consists of two large wooded islets. The larger (also called Namorik) wraps around the central lagoon from the southwest to the northeast, while the smaller island closes off the northwest corner of the lagoon. A coral islet stands between them on the reef, with numerous black boulders. The very shallow lagoon is cut off from the sea by the drying coral reef. Boats can cross the reef with difficulty, at high water on the west side of the atoll.
Landing near the west side of Namorik Islet can be effected about 90 m south of it. There is no shelter during northeast winds, and it is dangerous with strong southwest winds when there is a heavy sea. There is a fringing reef which extends about 135 m in the vicinity of the landing place. There is a depth of about 1.2 m and there are rocks in places. Two stranded wrecks lie about 90 m off the south shore along the reef line. (Sailing Directions Pub-153)
Namdrik Atoll was claimed by the Empire of Germany along with the rest of the Marshall Islands in 1884. After World War I, the island came under the South Pacific Mandate of the Empire of Japan. Following the end of World War II, it came under the control of the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986.
Namdrik Atoll has a population of approximately 600. It is the smallest inhabited atoll in the Marshall Islands and consists of just two islands, Namdrik and Matemat. There are three churches and one elementary school with approximately 200 students. The school employs about 9 teachers (K-8) and usually has a World Teach volunteer teacher to teach English as a Second Language. The atoll has an airstrip that receives an Air Marshall Islands flight once or twice a fortnight. Namdrik Atoll recently invested in pearl farming in the lagoon and has received a grant from AusAid to buy machinery that turns copra into coconut oil. There is one truck on Namdrik that transports coconuts from around the island to the dock. During WW-II there was fighting up at Kwajalein Atoll. There was no fighting on Namdrik Atoll.
Most buildings on Namdrik are powered by solar power, though there are a few generators on-island. A supply boat stops at Namdrik about once every month or two, with the large 'Field Trip Ships' usually stopping three times in a year. Unlike other atolls, ships cannot enter Namdrik's lagoon without banking on a reef, unloading ships need to wait 'ocean side' for small Namdrik boats to travel between ship and shore to load and unload all of the goods.
Namdrik Atoll made international headlines in November 2011 when two fishermen from Kiribati turned up alive on the island after drifting for 33 days at sea.
- EVS-Islands: Namorik Atoll MH
- Entry at Ocendots at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)
- Marshall Islands site
- Namdrik Info Page
- Official Namdrik Facebook Page
- Seacology's Page on Namdrik Pearls
- Pearl-Guide's Page on Namdrik Pearls
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