Map of Samoa
|Area||1,125 km2 (434 sq mi)|
|Length||75 km (46.6 mi)|
|Largest settlement||Apia (pop. 58,800)|
|Pop. density||127 /km2 (329 /sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups||92.6% Samoans, 7% Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood), 0.4% Europeans|
Upolu is an island in Samoa, formed by a massive basaltic shield volcano which rises from the seafloor of the western Pacific Ocean. The island is 75 kilometres (47 miles) long, 1,125 square kilometres (434 square miles) in area, and is the second largest in geographic area as well as with 135,000 people the most populated of the Samoan Islands. Upolu is situated to the southeast of the "big island", Savai'i. The capital Apia is in the middle of the north coast with Faleolo International Airport at the western end of the island. The island has not had any historically recorded eruptions, although three lava flows date back only a few hundred to a few thousand years.
In the late-19th century, the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson owned a 400-acre (160-hectare) estate at Vailima village and died there in 1894. He is buried at the top of Mount Vaea above his former home. The Vailima estate was purchased in 1900 as the official residence for the German governor and, after British/Dominion confiscation, served successively as residence for the New Zealand administrator and for the Samoan head of state after independence.
2009 Samoa tsunami
The island of Upolu was affected by a tsunami at 06:48:11 local time on 29 September 2009 (17:48:11 UTC). Twenty villages on Upolu's south side were reportedly destroyed, including Lepa, the home of Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi. In Lepa, only the church and the village's welcome sign remained standing following the disaster.
Upolu in pop culture
The island was also the filming location for Survivor: Samoa, the nineteenth season of the CBS competitive reality television series Survivor, as well as Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, the twentieth season of the series, Survivor: South Pacific, the twenty-third season of the series, and the twenty-fourth season, Survivor: One World. This makes it the most used location in the show's history. In 2016, the island was also used in the third season of Australian Survivor.
Damage from Cyclone Evan in 2012
- Magnitude 8.0 - SAMOA ISLANDS REGION Report on U.S. Geological Service's website. Retrieved online d.d. 29 September 2009.
- Baris Atayman (29 September 2009). "Tsunami smashes Pacific islands, over 100 feared dead". www.windsorstar.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- McClean, Tamara (2 October 2009). "Searching ruins for reason to live after the tsunami". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). Retrieved 5 October 2009.
- NZHERALD STAFF; NZPA, AP (30 September 2009). "At least seven dead after quake, tsunami hit Samoa". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Upolu.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Upolu.|