Republic of the Marshall Islands (Island Week)
Saturday, 2nd September 2006 by James Turnbull
Consisting of 29 atolls and 5 separate islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands could have been Island Week all on its own. It probably could have been island month – all but 9 of the atolls are inhabited, and the Kwajalein Atoll alone comprises 97 islets.
Although they gained independence from the US in 1986 a large part of the Marshall Islands are and were used for missile testing. Most famously, Bikini Atoll, from which the swimming garment took its name because it would cause a burst of excitement like an atomic bomb (but without the forced evacuations and nuclear contamination).
These two giant craters are in the Eniwetok Atoll, the Western crater was filled with nuclear waste and then paved over with concrete.
The Kwajalein Atoll is the location of the US’s Reagan Test Site, so many of the islands have helicopter pads and various other military goings on. Here’s a concrete barge intentionally sunk as a breakwater on Ennylabegan.
There’s loads more to see on the Marshall Islands, but I’ve been browsing around them for two days now and Island Week is almost over. I’d suggest scanning around for the hundreds of beautiful beaches and tiny cities, there’s even a sunken German warship in there somewhere…
Thanks: Many people, especially the Gearth Community