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Reunion

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Réunion (French: La Réunion) is an island and overseas département (département d'outre-mer, or DOM) of France, located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, about 200 km southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. Like the other DOMs, Réunion is also one of the 26 régions of France with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. As part of France, Réunion is part of the European Union, and thus the currency used is the euro (in fact, due to varying time zones in the European Union, Réunion was the first region in the world to use the euro, and the first ever purchase using the euro occurred at 12.01 a.m., when regional council president Paul Vergès bought a bag of lychees at a Saint-Denis market).

Geography of Reunion

The island is 39 miles (63 kilometers) long; 28 miles (45 kilometers) wide; and covers 970 square miles (2512 square kilometres). It is similar to the island Hawaii insofar as both are located above hotspots in the Earth's crust.

Piton de la Fournaise, a shield volcano on the eastern end of Réunion Island, rises more than 8565 feet (2611 meters) above sea level and is sometimes called a sister to Hawaiian volcanoes because of the similarity of climate and volcanic nature, has erupted more than 100 times since 1640 and is under constant monitoring. It most recently erupted on July 20, 2006. La Fournaise is created by a hot spot volcano, which also created the Piton des Neiges and the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

Piton des Neiges volcano, the highest point on the island at 10069 feet (3070 meters) above sea level, is northwest of Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Collapsed calderas and canyons are southwest of the mountain. Like Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii, Piton des Neiges is extinct. Despite its name, snow practically never falls on the summit.

The slopes of both volcanoes are heavily forested. Cultivated land and cities like the capital city of Saint-Denis are concentrated on the surrounding coastal lowlands.

Réunion also has three calderas: the Cirque de Salazie, the Cirque de Cilaos and the Cirque de Mafate. The latter is accessible only by foot or helicopter.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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