French Polynesia (French Polynésie française, Tahit. Pōrīnetia
farāni) is an overseas community and a constituent country of
France, located in the center of the South Pacific. It borders in
the west with the waters of the Cook Islands, in the northwest with
the Republic of Kiribati, in the north, east and south with neutral
Pacific waters, in the southeast with the waters of Pitcairn.
It includes archipelagos: the islands of the Society, the
islands of Tuamotu, the Marquesas islands, the islands of Tubuai,
separately distinguish the Gambier islands that are near Tuamotu, in
fact being a separate part of Tuamotu. The total area is 4,167 km²,
the population is 281,674 people (as estimated in 2017). The
political and administrative center is the city of Papeete on the
island of Tahiti (the largest island of French Polynesia, 1 thousand
Managed by the French High Commissioner. Local
authorities - the Council of Ministers and the first word of the
overseas community means belonging to France. The second word comes
from the Pacific region of Polynesia, half of which it occupies. The
name “Polynesia” (literally - “multi-island”) was artificially
formed in the 16th century from the ancient Greek words πολύς -
“many” and νῆσος - “island”; the end is usually for the names of
countries and territories. The modern name of the territory appeared
around the second half or at the end of the 19th century, when the
territory became part of France.
The islands of French Polynesia are of either volcanic
or coral origin. Volcanic are most of the islands of Society and
Tubuai, the islands of Gambier and the Marquesas; coral atolls form
the Tuamotu archipelago and are part of some other island groups.
Volcanic islands are mountainous. The highest point of Tahiti
(and throughout French Polynesia) - Mount Orohena - rises to 2241 m
above sea level. Coral islands usually rise above sea level by only
a few meters, surrounded by reefs.
The climate in
most of French Polynesia, mainly in the center, is tropical, trade
wind. In the north (Marquesas Islands) - subequatorial. In the
southern part, noticeable differences are observed between warm
winters and hot summers. On the southern islands of Tubuai, the
climate is subtropical humid. The hottest and wettest season is from
November to May, when northwest winds often blow. In the hottest
months, the temperature is usually 27 - 32 ° C and the humidity is
very high (about 92%) and precipitation falls to 1700 mm (75% of the
annual norm). Precipitation at this time falls mainly in the form of
powerful but short-term evening showers, or prolonged drizzling
rains lasting up to several days.
In the same period,
tropical hurricanes and powerful storms are not uncommon. The
islands of Tahiti, Tuamotu, Tubuai are subject to them.
the dry season (June to October) southeast trade winds prevail. The
lowest temperatures drop in July-August (in the south - up to 18 -
21 ° C).
The average annual temperatures are mainly on most
islands from 22 to 26 ° C, with insignificant monthly oscillation
amplitudes. The trade winds and the exposure of the island (slope)
determine the climatic conditions and weather on the islands of
Polynesia. Precipitation - 1500 - 3500 mm. There are hurricanes.
The islands of French Polynesia are subject to the invasion of
tropical cyclones, sometimes destructive, mainly in January.