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The Islands of Viti Levu and Ovalau, Fiji – December 29th, 2009

18.1S 178.4E

December 29th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

Fiji - December 19th, 2009

This orthorectified image focuses on the island of Viti Levu, the largest island in the Republic of Fiji. Viti Levu is the site of the nation’s capital, Suva, visible on a peninsula near the Rewa River.

The island is home to 70% of the population (about 600,000) and is the hub of the entire Fijian archipelago. It measures 146 kilometers long and 106 kilometers wide and has an area of 10,389 square kilometers.

Geologists believe that Viti Levu has been submerged a number of times, and has been covered by lava and other volcanic materials. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions account for the somewhat rugged terrain of the island, which is divided into roughly equal halves by a north-south mountain range. The centre of the island includes the nation’s highest peak Mount Tomanivi (otherwise Mt. Victoria) rising to 1,324 meters.

Several other islands can be seen near Viti Levu, the largest of which is Ovalau, the sixth largest island in Fiji’s Lomaiviti archipelago. Situated 60 km north east from the national capital Suva and 20 km off the east coast of Viti Levu, the island is about 13 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. It covers a total area of 102.3 square kilometers and has a population of around 9,000, approximately half the Lomaiviti population.

Ovalau is characterized by its rugged topography, with little flat land apart from the Lovoni Valley in the centre of the island. The island is an eroded volcanic crater with a narrow belt of flat to udulating country between the encircling lagoon and the steep crater sides. The highest peaks are Nadelaiovalau, with an altitude of 625 meters, in the east, and Tomuna, 526 meters, in the south.

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