According to Countryaah data, the Kwajalein and Bikini Atolls became seriously known in recent history in February 1944, when they were subjected to fierce North American air and sea bombings and subsequently occupied after a long and bloody battle against the Japanese forces. Due. the strategic position of the islands, the military rulers decided that despite the many falls and the much blood, it was worth conquering this small coral group, which, like pearls on a string, surround large lagoons.
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In the 1950’s, the United States used the islands for nuclear test blasts. According to thesciencetutor, the residents of an island were deported, after which the United States conducted a trial. In some cases, the residents were then allowed to return. They involuntarily participated in the US experiments with the long-term effects of the explosion. In 1954, the United States dropped its largest hydrogen bomb during the Cold War on Namu Island in the Bikini Atoll. The physicists had made a number of serious mistakes in their calculations, so the bomb was 2.5 times more powerful than calculated and with a radioactive fallout that was several hundred times more extensive than calculated. The “secret” test blast therefore remained secret only for a few days. Only 48 hours after the blast, several thousand residents of the Rongelap and Rongerik atolls had to be evacuated in a hurry due to the extensive radioactive fallout. A Japanese fishing boat, Daigo Fukuryū Maru, was also directly hit by the fallout. One died immediately and several others got radiation sickness. The incident created a disaster in Japan and a diplomatic crisis in relation to the United States, which was only “resolved” when the US granted $ 15.3 million US $ in compensation to the victims. However, the giant atomic cloud reached the stratosphere completely, guaranteeing that the fall occurred all over the globe – but mostly in the tropical regions. The evacuated residents of the atolls received no compensation, but were instead subjected to medical tests to map the radiation damage they received when they returned to their islands.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
State (181 km ² with 60. 000 residents, According to an estimate of 1998) in central-eastern Pacific, independent since 1990. The territory consists of two parallel series of coral atolls with a subequatorial climate, particularly humid in the southern islands, the most densely inhabited and cultivated.
Population and economic conditions
The capital is Dalap-Uliga-Darrit, in the Majuro atoll. The population, largely Christian, speaks local dialects or English. Agriculture (practiced at subsistence levels), together with fishing and livestock, contributes about 15 % to the formation of GDP (1996-97); the archipelago, which has scarce underground resources, nevertheless has considerable deposits of phosphates. With regard to industrial activities, hitherto limited to the processing of agricultural products, there are prospects for reorganization linked to Chinese capital investment projects.
The expansion of the service sector, which contributes 70 % to the formation of the GDP, is strongly connected to the growing development of tourism. The balance of payments is in constant deficit. Exports are limited to the products of coconut cultivation and fishing, and are mostly destined for the Federated States of Micronesia; imports concern machinery, means of transport, food, minerals and basic industrial products, mainly from the United States and the US territory of Guam.
The most recent projects for a reorganization of the areas damaged by nuclear tests (in particular, the Bikini atoll), carried out in the archipelago since the 1940s, date back to 1997.