Pagan (island)

Pagan Island

North Pagan, the most active of the two stratovolcanoes on Pagan Island.
Elevation 570 m (1,870 ft)
Prominence 570 m (1,870 ft)
Location Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 18°8′N 145°48′E / 18.133°N 145.8°E / 18.133; 145.8
Type Stratovolcanoes
Last eruption 2010

Pagan is an island of the Northern Mariana Islands chain, located at 18°06′N 145°46′E / 18.10°N 145.76°E / 18.10; 145.76Coordinates: 18°06′N 145°46′E / 18.10°N 145.76°E / 18.10; 145.76, approximately 320 kilometers north of Saipan.

Pagan has an area of 47.23 km² (18.24 sq mi), making it the fourth largest island of the Northern Marianas, and consists of two stratovolcanoes joined by a narrow strip of land. The stratovolcano at the northeast end of the island, at 18°08′N 145°48′E / 18.13°N 145.8°E / 18.13; 145.8, has an altitude of 570 m; the other, at the southwest end at 18°04′30″N 145°43′30″E / 18.075°N 145.725°E / 18.075; 145.725, is 548 m high.

History and population

It was inhabited during historical times, but a 1981 eruption forced the evacuation of its inhabitants. The last U.S. census reported no residents as of April 1, 2000.

Like the other Northern Marianas, it changed hands from the Spanish (governed from Guam) to the German colonial administration, to the Japanese occupation which was first under a League of Nations mandate. The Japanese garrison during World War II was 2,150 IJA men and 344 IJN men.[1] After World War II, and the United States occupation, it remained part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until the granting of U.S. Commonwealth status. Politically, it is part of the Northern Islands Municipality.


Pagan Island was included during Operation Christmas Drop 2006. United States Air Force C-130 aircrew observed cattle and a small cluster of buildings, including a grass airstrip, located on the island.


  1. ^ Takizawa, Akira; Alsleben, Allan (1999-2000). "Japanese garrisons on the by-passed Pacific Islands 1944-1945". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942. 


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