Réunion Abbreviations

Réunion is a French island and department of the Indian Ocean, located about 800 km east of Madagascar. Together with the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, they form the Mascarene archipelago. Réunion is a French overseas department and thus not an independent nation.

Capital: Saint-Denis
Biggest city: Saint-Denis
State: French territory
Language: French
Surface: 2,512 km
Population: 837 800 (2012)
Population density: 329 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 81 years
Illiteracy: 1%
Currency: euro (EUR)
1 euro = 9.76 kr
Time difference: +3 hours
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: July 14
Country area code: 262
2-Letter country abbreviation: RE
Business: service sector 49%, agriculture 30%, industry 21%
Climate: tropical; cool and dry from May to November, hot and rainy from November to April

Reunion got its name in 1793, as a result of the French Revolution and the fall of the royal family. Then the revolutionaries from Marseille and the National Guard in Paris merged on August 10, 1792, and the island’s name is a mark of this event. In 1801, the island was renamed Île Bonaparte, after Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was occupied in 1810 by the British Navy, which renamed the island to its old name Bourbon. When France regained the island at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the name Bourbon was retained until 1848. The name was then changed back to Réunion after the second fall of the royal family Bourbon.

During World War II, the island’s economy suffered another setback, due to economic blockade, when local authorities sympathized with the pro-German Vichy regime. It became even more difficult to export the goods produced on the island. The fact that the island was defined as a colony under French law did not improve conditions. According to French colonial law, the island was not allowed to import goods at a higher value than what they exported goods for. This is because the purpose of a colony was to make a profit. In 1946, the colonial status disappeared and Réunion became a ministry on 19 March of the same year, and has the same status as the areas on the mainland and is thus an area in the EU.

The nature on the island is dominated by two volcanoes. Piton de la Fournaise is located on the eastern part of the island with an altitude of 2,611 meters above sea level. It is often called the sister volcano to the volcanoes of Hawaii, due to similarities in structure. The volcano has had more than 100 eruptions since 1640, and is today under constant surveillance. The last eruption was in 2005. The volcano Piton des Neiges (Swedish: snow peak) is the highest point on the island with a height of 3,070 meters, and is located northwest of Piton de la Fournaise. Despite its name, snow rarely falls on its top. In the middle of the island are what are called the three circles called Mafate, Cilaos and Salazie, and these are craters formed after previous volcanic eruptions.

In 2006, Réunion was hit hard by mosquito-borne virus-infected chikungunya virus. The epidemic in the area started in March 2005, probably in the Comoros. Due to the weather situation, which favored the reproduction of mosquitoes, the spread of infection increased drastically until December of the same year. By April 6, 2006, about 230,000 people (29 percent of the island’s population) had fallen ill.

WORLD HERITAGE

The following objects in Réunion are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Reunion National Park, with volcanic landscapes and high mountains (2010)

CLIMATE AND WEATHER

Weather in Saint-Denis

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 27 27 27 25 24 22 21 21 22 23 24 26
Day °C 30 30 30 28 27 25 25 25 26 27 28 29
Night °C 23 23 23 22 20 18 17 17 18 19 20 22
Rain (mm) 320 350 180 220 110 100 70 60 60 60 80 200
Rainy days 16 15 14 12 11 11 13 13 11 11 9 14