Majuro

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Majuro (pronounced /ˈmædʒəroʊ/) is a large coral atoll of 64 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands. The atoll itself has a land area of only 9.7 square kilometres (3.7 sq mi) but encloses a lagoon of 295 square kilometres (114 sq mi). As with other atolls in the Marshall Islands, Majuro consists of extremely narrow land masses which allow a person to walk from the lagoon side to the ocean side within minutes. At some points, the island is narrow enough to throw a rock from one side to the other.

The main population center, also named Majuro, population 25,400 (as of 2004), is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Majuro has a port, shopping district, hotels, and an international airport. The major population centers are the D–U–D communities: the islets of DelapUligaDjarrit (listed from south to north, on the eastern edge of the atoll). Uliga is the main business district, and banking and tourism are increasingly important. Uliga is home to the College of the Marshall Islands, Assumption High School, and Uliga Elementary School where English is taught to all students. The government offices are located in Delap; and located at the eastern point of Majuro Atoll is the capitol building for the Marshall Islands. Delap also has several large stores. Djarrit is mostly residential and has the largest public primary and a secondary schools in the country, including Marshall Islands High School located near the north end of Majuro. At the western end of the atoll, about 30 miles from D–U–D by road, is the island community of Laura, a growing residential area with a popular beach. Laura has the highest elevation point on the atoll, estimated at less than 10 feet above sea level. Laura has the best soil for planting and is the home to several farms. Most of the roadway from Delap to Laura is a single two-lane paved road with houses on either side.

Contents

History

Humans have inhabited the atoll for at least 2,000 years.[1] Majuro Atoll was claimed by the Empire of Germany along with the rest of the Marshall Islands in 1884, and the Germans established a trading outpost. As with the rest of the Marshalls, Maruro was captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1914 during World War I and mandated to the Empire of Japan by the League of Nations in 1920. The Japanese administered the island came under the South Pacific Mandate, but mostly left local affairs in hands of traditional local leaders until the start of World War II. On January 30, 1944, United States troops invaded, but found that Japanese forces had previously evacuated their fortifications to Kwajalein and Enewetak, and were thus able to occupy the island without combat.[2]

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