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Guam - Last minute and Luxury Holidays

Guam and the Pacific Islands

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Guam (Chamorro: Guhn), officially the U.S. Territory of Guam, is an island in the Western Pacific Ocean and is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States. Its inhabitants are the Chamorros, who first populated the island approximately 4,000 years ago. Experts theorize that the first peoples migrated from origins involved in the early trading routes, however, others speculate that the peoples more likely originated from South East Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Most early Chamorros take on the likeness of peoples from this origin, however, more and more, the people of Guam are becoming racially-mixed. It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands. The capital is Hagta, formerly Agana (pronounced Agaa). Guam's economy is mainly supported by tourism (particularly from Japan, Korea and the People's Republic of China) and United States armed forces bases. The United Nations Committee on Decolonization includes Guam on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Guam (or Guhn in Chamorro) is located at 13.5N 144.5E and has an area of 210 square miles (544 km). The northern part of the island is a forested coralline limestone plateau while the south contains volcanic peaks covered in forest and grassland. A coral reef surrounds most of the island, except in areas where bays exist that provide access to small rivers and streams that run down from the hills into the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea. The island's population is most dense in the northern and central regions. Guam is the southernmost island in the Mariana island chain and is the largest island in Micronesia. This island chain was created as a result of the colliding of the Pacific and Philippine tectonic plates. The Marianas Trench, a deep subduction zone, lies beside the island chain to the eastern part of the island. The Challenger Deep, the deepest point on earth, is southwest of Guam at 35,797 feet (10,911 m) deep. The island experiences occasional earthquakes due to being on the edge of the Pacific Plate. In recent years, quakes with epicenters near Guam have had magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 8.2. Unlike the Anatahan volcano in the northern Marianas, Guam is not volcanically active. However, due to wind direction and proximity, volcanic ash activity does affect Guam from time to time, however, to a lesser degree.

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