Vanuatu vn?wto?o [key], officially Republic of Vanuatu, independent republic (2015 est. pop. 265,000), c.5,700 sq mi (14,760 sq km), South Pacific, E of Australia. Vanuatu is a 450-mi (724-km) chain of 80 islands, of which the most important are Espritu Santo (the largest), Efate, Malakula, Malo, Pentecost, and Tanna. South of Vanuatu and east of New Caledonia are the uninhabited Matthew and Hunter islands, which are claimed by both. The capital, Port Vila, is on Efate. Vanuatu's islands are forested and mountainous, formed by volcanic eruptions (and still subject to them). The highest peak (c.6,195 ft/1,890 m) is on Espiritu Santo.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography