27 Desember 2008

Java (island)


Most populated island of Indonesia, situated between Sumatra and Bali; area (with the island of Madura) 132,000 sq km/51,000 sq mi; population (with Madura; 2000 est) 118,230,300. The capital is jakarta (which is also the capital of Indonesia). The island is divided into three provinces: Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, and Jawa Barat, together with Jakarta Raya (the Jakarta metropolitan district). About half the island is under cultivation, the rest being thickly forested. Mountains and sea breezes keep the temperature down, but humidity is high, with heavy rainfall from December to March. Ports include Surabaya and Semarang. Java is crossed from east to west by a chain of mountains rising to 2,750 m/9,000 ft. Of these mountains, 112 are volcanic and 35 are active. Eruptions of Mount Merapi (2,911 m/9,551 ft) killed 1,300 people in 1930 and 64 people in 1994. The highest mountain, Semeru (3,676 m/12,060 ft), is in the east. The weathering of volcanic ash has given rise to fertile soils which has helped to produce a very productive agriculture. About 40% of the cultivated land consists of rice terraces, while major commercial crops include rubber, coffee, tea, sugar, quinine, tobacco, cacao, and timber. Mineral wealth includes petroleum, coal, tin, gold, and silver. Industries on the island at centres such as Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya are largely based on the processing of these agricultural and mineral products, with the addition of timber processing, chemicals, shipbuilding, and motor vehicle assembly. The population is predominantly Muslim, and includes people of Javanese, Sundanese, and Madurese origin, with differing languages.

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