Maewo Island, Vanuatu - John Seach
Penama Province

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Maewo Island is located in NE Vanuatu. The island is 57 km long and 8 km wide with an area of 302 sq km. The climate is tropical with a high humidity.

There are two seasons: cooler and dryer from May to October and hot and wet from November to April. Vegetation on the island is mainly rainforest with Banyan tree and hardwoods common.

Fauna includes wild pig, cattle bush fowl, fruit bat, lizard and small snakes. Settlements are mainly concentrated on the western coast especially on the coastal plain north of Kerembei.

There are two thermal springs on Maewo but no signs of recent volcanic activity. The geological structure of the island is similar to Pentecost Island further south. Bougainville (1768) and Cook (1774) were the first European explorers to reach the island, but neither landed.

In western Maewo there are remains of ancient villages. Few people live in the interior or on the exposed eastern coast.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit 2 km off the north coast of Maewo on Friday, 7th November, 2008 at 06:19 pm.

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