Tarawa (pronounced tarwae) consists of about 30 smaller islands grouped
around a lagoon. In the past they were called Gilbert and Ellice Islands but
today North and South Tarawa. The inhabitants enjoy a tropical climate with
about 28 deg centrigade and the raining period is from November till April.
Tarawa is also the name of the capital city and economic center of Kiribati
which mainly exports phosphates and Kopra.
This island group was first inhabitated between 200 and 500 and prior to WW2
it was a British colony. From 1941 till 1943 it was occupied by the Japanese who
lost these islands to the American in a battle with many casualties on Nov 20,
1943. Since 1979 the Tarawa group belongs to Kiribati an independent republic
with approximately 65000 inhabitants mostly Micronese. The official language
spoken is English but national tongue is Gilbertese.
Amateur radio: Prefix T30, DXCC: West Kiribati, IOTA reference OC-017.
<DX-NL 1258 August 28, 2001>