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Toamasina (tōəmˈəsēnə) [key], formerly Tamatave tämätävˈ, city (1993 pop. 127,441), NE Madagascar. Situated on the Indian Ocean, it is the nation's chief port and is connected by rail with Antananarivo. Toamasina exports sugar, coffee, cloves, and rice. Food processing is the chief industry. The town was founded in the 18th cent. around a European trading post. After its capture (1817) by Radama I, it became the chief port of his kingdom. Toamasina was occupied repeatedly by the French, and it was the base for their conquest (1894) of the interior. Severely damaged (1927) by a storm, the city was subsequently rebuilt.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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