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Funafuti
—  City  —
A school in Funafuti
A school in Funafuti
Coordinates: 8°31′S 179°13′E / 8.517°S 179.217°E / -8.517; 179.217
Country  Tuvalu
Area
 - Total 2.4 km2 (0.9 sq mi)
Population (2002)
 - Total 4,492
 - Density 1,871.67/km2 (4,847.6/sq mi)

Funafuti is an atoll that forms the capital of the island nation of Tuvalu. It has a population of 4,492 (2002 Census), making it the most populated atoll in the country. It is a narrow sweep of land between 20 and 400 metres wide, encircling a large lagoon 18 km long and 14 km wide, with 275 sq km—by far the largest lagoon in Tuvalu. The land area of the 33 islets aggregates to 2.4 sq km, less than one percent of the total area of the atoll. There is an airstrip, hotel (Vaiaku Langi Hotel), and administrative buildings, as well as homes, constructed both in the traditional manner, out of palm fronds, and more recently out of cement blocks. The most prominent building on Funafuti atoll is the Church of Tuvalu. Other sites of interest are the remains of United States aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during World War II, when the airstrip was used by the U.S. forces to defend the Gilbert Islands and the Marshall Islands. The U.S. claimed Funafuti under the Guano Islands Act from the 1800s until a treaty of friendship was concluded in 1979, coming into effect in 1983.

The largest island is Fongafale. On this island, there are four villages, of which one is Vaiaku, where the Tuvalu's government is located. The capital of Tuvalu is sometimes given as Fongafale or Vaiaku, but the entire atoll of Funafuti is officially the capital.

Contents

Villages on Funafuti

The individual villages of the atoll with population, according to the census of population 2002, by islet:

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central Fongafale islet

  • Fakaifou 1007
  • Senala 589
  • Alapi 1024
  • Vaiaku 516

rest of Fongafale islet

including Tengako peninsula in the north

  • Lofeagai 399
  • Teone 540
  • Tekavatoetoe 343

Funafala

  • Funafala 22

Amatuku

  • Amatuku 52

Funafuti Marine Conservation Area

In June 1996, the Funafuti Marine Conservation Area was established along the western rim of the reef, encompassing six islets. It has an area of 33 km², containing 20 percent of the reef area of Funafuti. The land area of the six islets in the conservation area is 8 ha (0.08 km²). The islets in the conservation area, from north to south, with estimated area in hectares:

  • Tepuka Vilivili, 3
  • Fualopa, 2
  • Fuafatu, 0.2
  • Vasafua, 0.5
  • Fuakea, 1.5
  • Tefala, 1

Islands in Funafuti

There are at least 33 islands in the atoll. The biggest is Fongafale, followed by Funafala. At least three islands are inhabited, which are Fongafale, the main island in the east, Funafala in the south, and Amatuku in the north.

Passages of Funafuti Atoll

The atoll has several passages with varying degrees of navigability that lead in to the lagoon. The passes are listed clockwise, starting south of Fongafale islet. The first two clearly separate the southern part of Funafuti Atoll from the rest.

  • Te Ava Pua Pua, with a least depth of 12.7 metres, between the islets of Funamanu to the north and Fale Fatu to the south, in the southeast, separating the southern part of the atoll in the east
  • Te Ava Fuagea, also known as Ava Amelia is a deep and narrow passage on the southwestern side of the atoll, 18.3 metres deep and 160 metres wide, separating the southern part of the atoll in the west, south of passage Te Ava Papa and the still more northerly islet of Fuafatu, and north of the islet of Vasafua
  • Te Ava Papa (just north of Te Ava Fuagea)
  • Te Ava Kum Kum is in the middle of the western rim, south of Te Ava Tepuka Vili, between the islets of Tepuka Vili Vili to the north and Fualopa immediately south
  • Te Ava Tepuka Vili, a deep and narrow channel, between the islets of Tepuka to the north, and Tepuka Vili Vili to the south
  • Te Ava Tepuka and Te Avua Sari are two neighbouring passes in the northeast, between the islets of Te Afualiku to the northeast and Tepuka to the southwest
  • Te Ava i te Lape is the favoured entrance into the lagon, although it has a depth of only 5.8 metres, and a width of barely 500 metres. It is in the north, between the islets of Pava to the east and Te Afualiku to the west.

Lagoon

The lagoon (TeNamo in Tuvaluan) of Funafuti atoll has a north-south length of 24.5 km, and east-west 17,5 km, with an area of 275 km², making it by far the largest lagoon of Tuvalu. It is up to 52 metres deep, but has several submerged rocks and reefs that are coming as close as 6 metres to the surface. [1]

Transportation

Funafuti International Airport is located here.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 8°31′S 179°13′E / 8.517°S 179.217°E / -8.517; 179.217


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Oceania : Tuvalu : Funafuti

Funafuti is the capital of Tuvalu.

Get in

A valid passport and onward ticket is required for entry to Tuvalu.

By Plane

The only international airport in Tuvalu is located at Funafuti, with the amusing airport code of FUN.

Air Fiji operates the only flights to Funafuti from Suva, Fiji with a Embraer Brasilia 120 turboprop aircraft. The current schedule has flights on Mondays and Thursdays.

Get around

The best way to get around Funafuti is to hire a Motorbike/Scooter for AUD $10.00 daily

Buy

The currency of Tuvalu is the Australian dollar (AUD), and the currency symbol is $. Tuvalu has also issued its own coins which are different from the Australian coins and can only be used on Tuvalu. The most common one is the Tuvalu 50 cent coin.

There is a handicraft centre at the Airport Terminal selling local handicrafts.

The Tuvalu Co-operative Society has 2 stores on Funafuti that sells a limited range of Grocieres.

  • Vaiaku Lagi Hotel is the only hotel in Funafuti and is operated by the Tuvalu government. The hotel is located 50 metres from the Airport Terminal, facing the lagoon. The hotel has 16 rooms of a basic standard, together with a restaurant serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. All rooms have air-conditioning and a telephone, although no hot water - only cold showers.
  • Guest houses. There are a number of privately run guesthouses of a very basic standard.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Singular
Funafuti

Plural
-

Funafuti

  1. The capital of Tuvalu.

Usage notes

In some sources the name of the capital of Tuvalu is cited as Vaiatu. This is because the administrative offices are located in a village of that name.


Simple English

Funafuti is the capital of the small island nation of Tuvalu. It has a population of 4,492 (2002), making it the most populated atoll in this country. It is a narrow sweep of land between 20 and 400 meters wide. There is an airstrip, hotel (Vaiaku Langi Hotel), and administrative buildings, as well as homes, constructed both in the traditional manner, out of palm fronds, and more recently out of cement blocks. The most prominent building on Funafuti atoll is the Church of Tuvalu. Other sites of interest are the remains of American aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during World War II, when the airstrip was used by the American forces to defend the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati). The United States claimed Funafuti until a treaty of friendship was concluded in the late 70's or early 80's.

The largest island is Fongafale. On this island, there are four villages, of which one is Vaiaku, where the government is located. The capital of Tuvalu is sometimes given as Fongafale or Vaiaku, but the entire atoll of Funafuti is actually the capital.

Contents

Islands in Funafuti

There are at least 33 islands in the atoll. The biggest is Fongafale, followed by Funafala. At least three islands are inhabited, which are Fongafale, Funafala and Motuloa.

  • Amatuku
  • Avalau
  • Falaoigo
  • Fale Fatu (or Falefatu)
  • Fatato
  • Fongafale
  • Fuafatu
  • Fuagea
  • Fualefeke (or Fualifeke)
  • Fualopa
  • Funafala
  • Funamanu
  • Luamotu
  • Mateika
  • Motugie
  • Motuloa
  • Mulitefala
  • Nukvalevale
  • Papa Elise (or Funangongo)
  • Pukasavilivili
  • Te Afuafou
  • Te Afualiku
  • Tefala
  • Telele
  • Tengako (peninsula of the island of Fongafale)
  • Tengasu
  • Tepuka
  • Tepuka Vili Vili
  • Tutanga
  • Vasafua
  • And at least 5 other islands

Bays and streets in Funafuti

  • Te Ava Pua Pua
  • Te Ava Tepuka Vili

TeNamo Lagoon

The lagoon surrounded by the atoll is TeNamo. It has a vertical length of more than 20 km.

Location

8°31′S 179°13′E


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