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Tonga Geography
Location:
Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 175 00 W
Map references:
oceania
Area:
total: 748 sq km
water: 30 sq km
land: 718 sq km
Area - comparative:
four times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
419 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; modified by trade winds; warm season (December to May), cool season (May to December)
Terrain:
most islands have limestone base formed from uplifted coral formation; others have limestone overlying volcanic base
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Kao Island 1,033 m
Natural resources:
fish, fertile soil
Land use:
arable land: 23.61%
permanent crops: 43.06%
other: 33.33% (2001)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
Environment - current issues:
deforestation results as more and more land is being cleared for agriculture and settlement; some damage to coral reefs from starfish and indiscriminate coral and shell collectors; overhunting threatens native sea turtle populations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
archipelago of 169 islands (36 inhabited)
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