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Tuesday 24th October
Solomon Islands Facts
The Solomon Islands consist of around nine hundred islands.

Guadalcanal is the largest of the Solomon Islands.

Other important islands include Choiseul, San Cristobal, Santa Isabel, Malaita and New Georgia.

Mount Makarakomburu, on Guadalcanal, is the highest point (2,447 m) in the Solomon Islands.

Kavachi, in the Solomon Islands, is an active underwater volcano.

The Marovo Lagoon, New Georgia, is the world's largest salt water lagoon.

East Rennell is the largest raised coral atoll in the world.

Lake Tegano, a former lagoon, on Rennell, is the largest lake (15,500 hectares) in the South Pacific.

The Arnavon Islands provide an important nesting area for endangered Hawksbill Turtles.

Evidence of early human occupation, dating back to 26000 BC, has been found on the Solomon Islands.

Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra, the Spanish explorer, was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands.

Mendana (1541-1596), the nephew of the Governor of Peru, named the Solomon Islands after King Solomon. He thought the islands were the location of King Solomon's mines as legends told of Incas visiting the islands and returning with gold and silver.

From 1899 until 1976 the United Kingdom governed the Solomon Islands, apart from the war years of 1942 to 1945 when the Japanese occupied the islands.

The Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-3) saw some of the fiercest fighting of World War Two. Many ships were sunk in the sea off Honiara.

The Solomon Islands became an independent country on 7 July 1978.

The Solomon Islands is a member of the Commonwealth.

The monarch of the UK became the Chief of State of the Solomon Islands in 1952 and is represented by a Governor General.

The Melanesian countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands belong to the Melanesian Spearhead Group, a Free Trade Area Agreement.

The Solomon Islands is a member of the University of the South Pacific in Suva (Fiji). Other members are the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Cyclone Zoe devastated the land and destroyed many buildings on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta in December 2002.

In July 2003 civil unrest led to the deployment of Australian-led peacekeeping forces on the Solomon Islands.

A tsunami in April 2007 left thousands homeless in the Solomon Islands. Over thirty people lost their lives.

A national disaster was declared in February 2009 after heavy rain and flooding on Guadalcanal island.

In January 2010 around one thousand were left homeless after landslides. These were caused by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands People First Network supports "peace building and poverty reduction through improved access to information and increased capacity for communications in rural areas".

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