Portal:Oceania

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Introduction

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (About this sound listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographic region comprising Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

The islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are Bonin Islands, a politically integral part of Japan; Hawaii, a state of the United States; Clipperton Island, a possession of France; the Juan Fernández Islands, belonging to Chile; and the Campbell Islands, belonging to New Zealand. Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies that belong to countries such as of Kiribati and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, with Sydney being the largest city of both Oceania and Australia.

Daily article

Pagan Island, Northern Mariana Islands.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a commonwealth in political union with the United States of America at a strategic location in the West Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands. It has a population (2005 est) of 80,362.

The southern islands are limestone with level terraces and fringing coral reefs; the northern islands are volcanic, with active volcanoes on Anatahan, Pagan and Agrihan. The volcano on Agrihan is the highest elevation in the islands at 965 meters. About one-fifth of the land is arable, another tenth is permanent pasture. The primary natural resource is fish.

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Selected article

Tropical Cyclone Percy strikes Swain’s Island on 27 February 2005.

Cyclone Percy was the seventh named storm of the 2004-05 South Pacific cyclone season and the fourth and final cyclone to form during the February 2005 outbreak in the South Pacific Ocean.

Percy was also the most damaging of the February cyclones as it battered the Cook Islands, which were still recovering from the impacts of Cyclones Meena, Nancy and Olaf. Percy then devastated the island of Tokelau, leaving many homeless and millions in dollars in property damages. Because of warnings in anticipation of the storm, there were no deaths and there were only a few injuries.

Relief efforts followed after Cyclone Percy. In Swains Island, a rescue plane dropped food and supplies. In Tokelau and northern Cook Islands, the governments of Australia and New Zealand offered over $200,000 dollars (2005 USD) in relief aid. In Tokelau, many of the local officials feared about contamination since the cyclone had scattered human waste, trash, and other debris in the ocean and across the island. There was also an increase of mosquitoes and other insects, increasing the threat of a dengue fever outbreak. In addition, the storm damaged many of the hospitals, making treatment of the injured or displaced difficult. In Nukunonu, the school, which was destroyed by Percy, was poorly built and vulnerable, and there was no early warning system. Also, many of the population had little time to prepare for the storm because of a social event held hours earlier.

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