Fongafale

Fongafale

[fong-guh-fah-lee]
Fongafale, village (2001 est. pop. 5,000), coextensive with the islet of Fongafale, capital and largest settlement in the island nation of Tuvalu. Part of the atoll of Funafuti, Fongafale is also the site of a meteorological station, a hospital, and an international airport.
Fongafale (also spelt Fogale or Fagafale) is the largest of Funafuti's islets in Tuvalu. It's a long snake-like sliver of land, 12 kilometres long and between 10 and 400 metres wide, with the South Pacific Ocean on the east and the protected lagoon on the west.The airstrip runs from northeast to southwest on the widest part of the island with the village and administrative centre of Vaiaku on the lagoon side. It contains the Tengako peninsula. Fongafale is located at (-8.516667, 179.2). ()

There are four neighbourhoods (officially villages, which appear as one contiguous urban area):

Vaiaku is the most important, most southern and most western neighbourhood. The official buildings are here.

There are seven small ponds.

On the island there are government offices, Vaiaku Lagi Hotel (the only hotel of the country, there are also a few guesthouses), telecommunication centre, a jail, a meteorological station, a fuelpump station, a hospital (Princess Margaret Hospital), the governor's house, the Tuvalu House, the Philatelic Bureau, some shops, Tuvalu's only commercial bank, and the general post office. Seaplanes can land near the airport. The Fetuao Lima Church, Tausoa Maneapa (city hall), cooperation shop and a primary school are also on the island. There is a hurricane bank and a reef around the island. The bank is on the eastern side, the side of the open Pacific ocean, so the western side is the atoll-side. There is a wreck from WW II.

There are four taxis, and motorbikes are available for hire. The village has a surface area of more than 0.65 square kilometres and has about 4000 inhabitants.

Transportation

Air

Tuvalu's only (and thus international) airport, Funafuti International Airport, is located here. It only offers Air Fiji flights to Suva, Fiji.

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