Molokai, which is the fifth largest of the main islands in Hawaii, was built from two volcanoes which are East Molokai and West Molokai. The northern half collapsed around one and a half million years ago and is now laying as just a debris field which is scattered northward to the Pacific Ocean bottom and what remains of the island are considered as the highest sea cliffs of the world. The southern shore of Molokai, on the other hand, has the longest fringing reef found in the U.S. with a length of 40 kilometers.
Molokai lies on the east of Oahu and on the north of Lanai. At night, the lights of Honolulu can be seen at the western end while Maui and Lanai are visible on the southern end of the island.
Molokai is basically split into two primary geographical areas: the eastern half and the western half. The eastern half is situated on top of a high plateau which rises up to an elevation of 1,500 miles on Kamakou peak. It is covered by lush rainforest which gets more than 300 meters of rain annually. The forests mostly have the native Ohialehua trees as well as a rich and diverse flora and fauna. At lower elevations of 1,200 miles, the vegetations changes to exotic species such as eucalyptus, guava and cypress. There are also wild pigs and axis deer that aroma about the native forests. Near the summit area, you would be able to see the unique Pepeopae swamp, where miniature ohias along with other plants cover the soggy ground.
On the other hand, the lower western half is extremely dry, with the soil greatly denuded because of the grazing of goats as well as poor land management practices. The area is entirely covered by non-native Kiawe trees.
Molokai is also referred to as the "Friendly Isle". It is one of the islands of Hawaii that is least developed. The population on the island is diverse, with majority of the inhabitants having Hawaiian ancestry. People living in Molokai are known for their warmth and friendly hospitality.
Some of the town and villages in Molokai include Kaunakakai, Kualapuu, Kawela Beach, Kalaupapa, Maunaloa and Alii Aimoku of Molokai. There are some small hotels located in Kauanakakai as well as a resort situated on the west end of the island. On the western-facing shore, tourists can visit the Papohaku Beach, which is considered as one of the most beautiful and largest beaches in Hawaii.
Molokai has also been known to be the long time place of residence of the Belgian priest, Father Damien de Veuster. He was the priest who cared for Hansen's Disease sufferers. In the past, there was small colony on the northern shore of Molokai, Kalaupapa, which served as a refuge for the sufferers of this disease, which is also known as leprosy.
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Guide to the History of Molokai Island
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