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Mitiaro
Mitiaro Aerial.jpg
Location Cook Islands
South Pacific Ocean
Country  Cook Islands
Area 22.25 km²
Coastline 18.1 km
Highest elevation 10.9 m
Peak western makatea
between Atai and Omutu
Population (2006) 219

Mitiaro, the fourth island in the Cook Islands group, is of volcanic origin. Standing in water 14,750 feet deep (4500 m) it is four miles (6.4 km) across at its widest point.

Contents

Geography

Aerial view of Mitiaro.

Mitiaro is part of the Nga-Pu-Toru island group formerly, a volcano that became a coral atoll. The coral died forming Makatea.[1] The island is surrounded by the belt of fossilised coral—makatea, between 20 and 40 feet high (6 to 9 m) characteristic of islands in the southern group. The centre is almost flat, quite swampy and contains two freshwater lakes teeming with eels and the imported tilapia from Africa where it is known as bream. Beaches are limited but there are crystal clear pools ideal for swimming in the subterranean limestone caves and the beach at low tide abounds in interesting marine life.

The island has four villages, located close together on the western side, listed from north to south:

  1. Taurangi (former village)
  2. Atai (also called Arai)
  3. Auta
  4. Mangarei
  5. Takaue

The high school is located in the principal village, Arai. Takaue is the second largest village. Mitiaro Airport is located at the northern end of the island.

History

The native islanders had a pre-European history of harassment and subjugation by the warlike Atiuans, there were significant deaths in the population.

The island was discovered by missionary John Williams on June 20, 1823 who imposed the cult of Christian religion and encouraged the settlers to leave their original faith. The estimated population at at time was less than 100 inhabitants.

During 1840's the island was attacked again by Atiuans. On October 31, 1888 HMS Hyacinth commanded by captain Bourke, hoisted the United Kingdom flag in the island. It was later merged to the Cook Islands until its annexation to New Zealand in 1901. [2]

Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1823 100
1902 165 65.0%
2008 219 32.7%

External links

Sources

Coordinates: 19°52′S 157°42′W / 19.867°S 157.7°W / -19.867; -157.7

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