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Title: Upolu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Samoan Islands, Samoa, Nu'ulopa, Districts of Samoa, Geography of Samoa
Collection: Islands of Samoa, Mountains of Samoa, Samoan Mythology, Shield Volcanoes, Volcanoes of Samoa
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Map of Samoa
Location Pacific Ocean
Area 1,125 km2 (434 sq mi)
Length 75 km (46.6 mi)
Largest settlement Apia (pop. 58,800)
Population 143,418 (as of 2011)
Density 127 /km2 (329 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups 92.6% Samoans, 7% Euronesians (persons of European and Polynesian blood), 0.4% Europeans
Falefa Valley looking north from Le Mafa past
A church on the southern coast of Upolu, which had its roof torn off by Cyclone Evan in 2012.

Upolu is an island in Samoa, formed by a massive basaltic shield volcano which rises from the seafloor of the western Pacific Ocean. The island is 75 kilometres (47 mi) long, 1,125 km2 (434 sq mi) in area, and is the second largest in geographic area as well as with 135,000 people the most populated of the Samoan Islands. Upolu is situated to the southeast of the "big island", Savai'i. The capital Apia is in the middle of the north coast with Faleolo International Airport at the western end of the island. The island has not had any historically recorded eruptions, although three lava flows date back only a few hundred to a few thousand years.

USNS Richard E. Byrd sits pierside in Upolu.

In the Samoan branch of Polynesian mythology, Upolu was the first woman on the island of the same name.

In 1841, the island was the site of the Bombardment of Upolu, an incident during the United States Exploring Expedition.

In the late 19th century, the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson owned a 400-acre (160 ha) estate at Vailima village and died there in 1894. He is buried at the top of Mount Vaea above his former home. The Vailima estate was purchased in 1900 as the official residence for the German governor and, after British/Dominion confiscation, served successively as residence for the New Zealand administrator and for the Samoan head of state after independence.

An extremely small species of spider lives on Upolu. According to the Guinness Book of World Records 2005, the spider is the size of a period on a printed page.


  • 2009 Samoa tsunami 1
  • Survivor favorite 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

2009 Samoa tsunami

The island of Upolu was affected by a tsunami at 06:48:11 local time on 29 September 2009 (17:48:11 UTC).[1] Twenty villages on Upolu's south side were reportedly destroyed, including Lepa, the home of Samoa's Prime Minister[2] Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi. In Lepa, only the church and the village's welcome sign remained standing following the disaster.[3][4]

Survivor favorite

The island was the filming location for Survivor: Samoa, the nineteenth season of the CBS competitive reality television series Survivor, as well as Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, the twentieth season of the series, Survivor: South Pacific, the twenty-third season of the series, and the twenty-fourth season, Survivor: One World. This makes it the most used location in the show's history.

See also


  1. ^ Magnitude 8.0 - SAMOA ISLANDS REGION Report on U.S. Geological Service's website. Retrieved online d.d. 29 September 2009.
  2. ^ Baris Atayman (29 September 2009). "Tsunami smashes Pacific islands, over 100 feared dead". Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  3. ^ McClean, Tamara (2 October 2009). "Searching ruins for reason to live after the tsunami".  
  4. ^ NZHERALD STAFF; NZPA, AP (30 September 2009). "At least seven dead after quake, tsunami hit Samoa". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 


  • "Upolu".  

External links

  • Samoa Tourism Authority

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