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Manus Island is part of
Manus Province Manus Province is the smallest province in Papua New Guinea with a land area of , but with more than of water. The provincial town of Manus is Lorengau and the total population is 60,485 (2011 census). The province consists of only one district ...
in northern
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini; tcs, Op Deudai), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in ...
and is the largest of the
Admiralty Islands The Admiralty Islands are an archipelago group of 18 islands in the Bismarck Archipelago, to the north of New Guinea in the South Pacific Ocean. These are also sometimes called the Manus Islands, after the largest island. These rainforest-covere ...
. It is the fifth-largest island in Papua New Guinea, with an area of , measuring around . Manus Island is covered in rugged jungles which can be broadly described as lowland
tropical rain forest upright=1.8, Tropical rainforest climate zones (Af). Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in areas of tropical rainforest climate in which there is no dry season – all months have an average precipitation of at least 60 mm – ...
. The highest point on Manus Island is Mt. Dremsel, above sea level at the centre of the south coast. Manus Island is
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where tectonic plates are d ...

volcanic
in origin and probably broke through the ocean's surface in the late
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about (Ma). The Miocene was named by Scottish author Charles Lyell; its name comes from the Greek words (', "less") and (', "new") and means "less recent" becaus ...
, 8 to 10 million years ago. The substrate of the island is either directly volcanic or from uplifted
coral Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps. Coral species include the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secre ...

coral
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate sedimentary rock. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (). Limestone forms when these minerals precipitate out of water con ...
.
Lorengau Lorengau is the major town in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. The town is located on the edge of Seeadler Harbour on Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands, and in 2000 Lorengau was recorded to have a population of 5,829. History World War II ...
, the capital of Manus Province, is located on the island.
Momote Airport Momote Airport is an airport on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea. It also serves Manus Island, which is connected to Los Negros by a bridge. History Hayne Airfield Built by the Imperial Japanese at Momote during World ...
, the terminal for Manus Province, is located on nearby
Los Negros Island 300px, Los Negros Island Los Negros Island is the third largest of the Admiralty Islands. It is significant because it contains the main airport of Manus Province on its eastern coastline, at Momote. It is connected to Lorengau, the capital of the p ...
. A bridge connects Los Negros Island to Manus Island and the province capital of Lorengau. In the 2000 census, the whole Manus Province had a population of 50,321. The Austronesian
Manus languages The Manus languages are a subgroup of about two dozen Oceanic languages located on Manus Island and nearby offshore islands in Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. The exact number of languages is difficult to determine because they form a dialect c ...
are spoken on the island. The Australian-run
Manus Regional Processing Centre The Manus Regional Processing Centre, or Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (MIRCP), was one of a number of offshore Australian immigration detention facilities. The Centre was located on the PNG Navy Base Lombrum (previously a Royal Austral ...
was situated on Los Negros Island from 2001 to 2017, to house asylum seekers arriving by boat found within Australia's defined territorial borders. Manus Island is home to the emerald green snail, whose shells were harvested to be sold as jewellery; this continues, albeit at a lesser scale, as due to the snail's status as a threatened species, its sale for this purpose is now illegal in many jurisdictions.


History

The first recorded sighting of Manus Island by Europeans was by Spanish explorer Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, Álvaro de Saavedra on board the carrack ''Florida'' on 15 August 1528, while trying to return to New Spain from the Maluku Islands. Saavedra circled Manus Island, and landed possibly on Murai islet to the south west. Murai was found to be inhabited and some natives came out in canoes, attacking with bow (weapon), bows and arrows. Three of these men were captured by the Spaniards, and were returned by Saavedra to the same island, on his second attempt to return to North America the following year. Manus Island was charted as ''Urays la Grande'' or Big Urays, which is probably a projection of Murai to signify "big Murai". In World War II Manus Island was the site of an observation post manned by No. 4 Section, 'B' Platoon, 1st Independent Company (Australia), 1st Independent Company, Australian Imperial Force, who also provided medical treatment to the inhabitants. Manus was first bombed by the Japanese on 25 January 1942, the radio mast being the main target. On 8 April 1942 an Imperial Japanese force consisting of the light cruiser Japanese cruiser Tatsuta (1918), ''Tatsuta'', Japanese destroyer Mutsuki, destroyer ''Mutsuki'' and a troop transport ship ''Mishima Maru'' entered
Lorengau Lorengau is the major town in Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. The town is located on the edge of Seeadler Harbour on Manus Island, in the Admiralty Islands, and in 2000 Lorengau was recorded to have a population of 5,829. History World War II ...
harbour and several hundred Japanese soldiers of the 8th Special Base Force swarmed ashore onto the Australian-mandated island. The vastly outnumbered Australians withdrew into the jungle. Later in 1942, Japan established a military base on Manus Island. This was attacked by United States forces in the Admiralty Islands campaign of February – March 1944. An Allies of World War II, Allied naval base was established at Seeadler Harbor on the island and it later supported the British Pacific Fleet. The ammunition ship exploded in Seeadler Harbor on 10 November 1944 with a heavy loss of life of US Navy personnel. In 1950–51 the Australian government conducted the last trials against Japanese war crimes, Japanese war criminals on the island. One case heard was that of Takuma Nishimura, who faced an Australian military court. He had already been tried by a British military court in relation to the Sook Ching massacre in Singapore and sentenced to life imprisonment. While on a stopover in Hong Kong he was intercepted by Australian Military Police. Evidence was presented stating that Nishimura had ordered the shootings of wounded Australian and Indian soldiers at Parit Sulong massacre, Parit Sulong and the disposal of bodies so that there was no trace of evidence. In this trial he was found guilty and was hanged on 11 June 1951. American Anthropology, anthropologist Margaret Mead lived on Manus Island before and after the war, and gave detailed accounts in ''Growing up in New Guinea'' and ''New Lives for Old''.


Detention centre

In addition to its resident population, asylum seekers have been located on Los Negros between 2001 and 2004 and since 2012. Australia set up the Manus Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island in 2001 as part of its Pacific Solution. In August 2012, the Australian Government controversially announced it would resume offshore processing; in November 2012 the relocation of asylum-seekers to Manus Island resumed. On 26 April 2016, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was illegal, and Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced that the centre would be closed. After a stand-off involving PNG military and police, all remaining men were removed to new accommodation at the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, Hillside Haus and West Lorengau Haus by 23 November 2017. In late 2019, the remaining asylum seekers were moved to Port Moresby, and upon request by the PNG government, the Australian Government terminated the contracts of the service providers for the detention centre and other facilities as of 30 November 2019.


Naval bases

On 20 September 2018, ''The Australian'' reported that Australia and Papua New Guinea were discussing providing port facilities to the Royal Australian Navy and United States Navy, US Navy on Manus Island. Australia and the United States would help expand Lombrum Naval Base, so there would be facilities for Australian naval vessels there. The newspaper reported that Australia was countering interest China had placed in expanding Papua New Guinea's port facilities at Wewak, Kikori, Vanimo and Manus Island. Manus Island is the most important of these four ports, as it is a deep-water port near important shipping lanes. The RAN operated a naval base on Manus Island from the 1950s until transferred to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force in 1974.


See also

*Admiralty Islands languages **
Manus languages The Manus languages are a subgroup of about two dozen Oceanic languages located on Manus Island and nearby offshore islands in Manus Province of Papua New Guinea. The exact number of languages is difficult to determine because they form a dialect c ...


Notes


References

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External links


ManusIsland.com
{{authority control Islands of Papua New Guinea Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea Miocene volcanoes Manus Province