Makian: North Maluku’s Most Dangerous Volcano

makian1.jpgThe island of Makian is, like Ternate, made up by an active volcano rising out of the sea. Gunung Kiebesi is Maluku’s most unpredictable and dangerously destructive volcano, whose latest eruption destroyed everything on the island, prompted the evacuation of all local people to Halmahera, and nearly split the island into two. However, by now its villages have been rebuilt, and its plantations and forests have grown back thanks to its fertile volcanic soil. Despite this, the island is historically significant as one of the original clove isles and the original seat of the Bacanese sultanate. There is an old colonial fort in the capital village of Ngofakiaha. Two completely distinct ethnic groups share the island, both of whom are staunch Muslims.

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