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Fire and Ocean
Vanuatu is an multi-island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. This archipelago lies 1,090 miles (1,750 km) east of northern Australia. Though the Melanesian people were the island’s first inhabitants, Polynesians colonized three of the islands. Later, both the English and French arrived. However, in 1980, the region gained independence. Today, the nation is a republic, with elected officials and its own flag. The official languages are English, French, and the creole language of Bislama.
Most people here live in rural areas. However, Port Vila and Luganville have populations in the tens of thousands. The area’s citizens are primarily of Melanesian descent, with the remainder made up of a mix of Europeans, Asians and other Pacific Islanders.
Like Hawaii, volcanoes dominate the landscape. These volcanoes include Lopevi, Mount Yasur and several underwater peaks. Not only are the volcanoes prominent, but they are still active! Hence, the islands’ people live with the ever-present danger of eruption.
Despite the risks, this region is a wonderland. Nowhere else boasts such volcanic splendor. Photographers the world over visit here to catch a shot of molten fire spewing into the island sky.