Upolu

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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 mi) long, 1,125 km2 (434 sq mi) in area, and is the second largest in geographic area as well as the most populated of the Samoan islands. Upolu is situated to the east 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 Polynesian mythology (specifically Samoan), Upolu is the first woman on the island of the same name. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the island was sometimes called Ojalava or Ojolava.[citation needed]

In the late 19th century Robert Louis Stevenson owned a four-hundred acre (1.6 km²) estate at Vailima and died there in 1894. The Vailima estate was purchased in 1900 as 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.

An extremely small species of spider lives on Upolu. According to the Guinness Book of World Records 2005, the spider is the size of a fullstop on a printed page.[citation needed]

The island was the filming location for Survivor: Samoa, the nineteenth season of the CBS competitive reality television series, and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, the twentieth season of the series.

2009 Samoa Tsunami

The island of Upolu was affected by a tsunami following an 8.0 Mw earthquake in the Samoan Islands region at 06:48:11 local time on 29 September 2009 (17:48:11 UTC).[1] Twenty villages on Upolu's south side were reportedly destroyed, including Lepa, the home of Samoa's Prime Minister [2] Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi. In Lepa, only the church and the village's welcome sign remained standing following the tsunami.[3][4]

See also

References

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