Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Réunion is an island, as well as an overseas département (département d'outre-mer, or DOM) of France, located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. As the other DOMs, Réunion is also a région of France with much the same status as the parts of France situated on the European mainland.
|Sous-préfectures||Saint-Benoît, Saint-Paul, Saint-Pierre|
- % water
|Calling Code||+262 (not required from metropolitan France or other overseas departments)|
Arabian sailors used to call this island Dina Morgabin ("Western island").
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Malabar Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.
Main article: Politics of Réunion
Main article: Geography of Réunion
The island is 39 miles (63 kilometers) long, is 28 miles (45 kilometers) wide, and covers 970 square miles (2150 square kilometres). The island is similar to the big island of Hawaii because both are located above hot spots in the Earth's crust.
Piton de la Fournaise, a shield volcano on the eastern end of Réunion Island, rises more than 8565 feet (2611 meters) above sea level and is sometimes called a sister to Hawaiian volcanoes because of the similarity of climate and volcanic nature, has erupted more than 100 times since 1640 and is under constant monitoring. It most recently erupted on August 13, 2004. La Fournaise is created by a hot spot volcano, which also created the Piton des Neiges and the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
Piton des Neiges volcano, the highest point on the island at 10069 feet (3070 meters) above sea level, is northwest of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Collapsed calderas and canyons are southwest of the mountain. Like Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii, Piton des Neiges is extinct. Despite its name, snow practically never falls on the summit.
The slopes of both volcanoes are heavily forested. Cultivated land and cities like the capital city of Saint-Denis are concentrated on the surrounding coastal lowlands.
Main article: Economy of Réunion
Sugar is the chief agricultural product and export.
Main article: Demographics of Réunion
Main article: Culture of Réunion
See also: Music of Réunion
Reunionese culture is a blend of European, African, Indian and Pakistani and islander characteristics. The traditional language, Creole, derives from French, with many idiosyncracies. Creole is now taught in schools, but an official written transcription is not agreed upon yet. Food and music blend influences from Africa, India and Europe.
- Communications in Réunion
- Communes of the Réunion département
- Military of Réunion
- Transportation in Réunion
- Wikitravel Reunion web page
- Weather forecast
- General Council web site
- Régional council web site
- Official Tourism web site
- Images of Reunion
- Réunion Travel Guide and Directory
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