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PALAU
 

Geography and Landscape

Geography

Micronesia (from the Greek: small islands) consists of approximately 2300 large and small islands. The islands are scattered in the Western Pacific between Hawaii (approx. 6000 km) and the Philippines (approx. 2400 km). Geographically, Micronesia consists of four archipelagos: the Marshall Islands, the Mariana Islands, the Gilbert Islands and the Caroline Islands. Kiribati, which is part of Micronesia, also includes the Line Islands and Phoenix Islands, which are part of Polynesia. The distance from north to south is 2572 km and from east to west 5056 km. This means that the islands are spread over a water area of more than 13 million km2.

Palau SatellietfotoPalau Satellite PhotoPhoto: Public Domain

Palau or Belau (officially: Republic of Palau and in Palau: Beluu er a Belau) is an island republic in the North Pacific, 800 km west of the Philippines. The total land area of the 343 large and small islands is 487 km2. The capital of Palau is Koror on the island of the same name. Together with the Federation of Micronesia, Palau forms the archipelago of the Caroline Islands. Palau belongs to the continent of Oceania.

Landscape

The republic comprises some 25 mostly uninhabited coral islands, of which the densely forested Babeldaob (Babalthuap approx. 370 km2) is the largest. Other large islands are Koror, Peleliu and Angaur. Palau also consists of the coral atolls Kayangel and Ngeruangel and around 200 limestone islands known as Rock Islands. There are also six isolated islands: the Sonsorol Islands, Pulo Anna, Merir, Tobi and Helen, together forming the Southwest Islands. The highest point in Palau is Babeldaob Island (217 metres). The Palau Islands are named after their discoverer, the British Captain Pelew.

Uninhabited rocky islets, PalauUninhabited rocky islets, PalauPhoto: Peter R. Binder in the public domain

Koror Island

Rock Islands

Babeldaob (Babelthuap)

Peleliu

Angaur Island

South-West Islands

Sources

Galbraith, K. / Micronesia
Lonely Planet

Levy, N.M. / Micronesia handbook Moon

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2022
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