Likiep Atoll

Likiep Atoll (Marshallese: Likiep, [lʲiɡiɛpʲ][1]) is a coral atoll of 65 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands. It is approximately 55 kilometers (34 mi) northwest of Wotje. Its total land area is only 10.26 square kilometers (3.96 sq mi), but that encloses a deep central lagoon of 424 square kilometers (164 sq mi). Likiep Atoll also possesses the Marshall Islands' highest point, an unnamed knoll 10 meters (33 ft) above sea level. The population of Likiep Atoll was 401 in 2011.[2]

Likiep Atoll
NASA picture of Likiep Atoll
Map of Likiep Atoll.png
Map of the atoll
Likiep Atoll is located in Marshall Islands
Likiep Atoll
Likiep Atoll
LocationNorth Pacific
Coordinates09°54′00″N 169°08′00″E / 9.90000°N 169.13333°E / 9.90000; 169.13333Coordinates: 09°54′00″N 169°08′00″E / 9.90000°N 169.13333°E / 9.90000; 169.13333
Total islands65
Area10.26 km2 (3.96 sq mi)
Highest elevation10 m (30 ft)
Population401 (2011)
Ethnic groupsMarshallese


A lagoon on the atoll

The first recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Ruy López de Villalobos in January 1543. On 5 January 1565, its sighting was again recorded by the patache San Lucas, commanded by Alonso de Arellano, part of the Spanish expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi, which had by then separated from Legazpi's fleet. On 12 January 1565, it was Legazpi who arrived to Likiep Atoll and charted them as Los Corrales ("farmyards" in Spanish).[3]

In 1877, Likiep Atoll was purchased by Georg Eduard Adolph Capelle, a German trader, and partner with whaler Anton Debrum in the trading firm Capelle & Co, which traded extensively in copra and marine products throughout Micronesia. Likiep Atoll was claimed by the Empire of Germany along with the rest of the Marshall Islands in 1884, and the Germans established a trading outpost. After World War I, the island came under the South Seas Mandate of the Empire of Japan. The base became part of the vast US Naval Base Marshall Islands. Following the end of World War II, it came under the control of the United States, as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986.

Debrum House (1890), on Likiep Island, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Key islandsEdit

Key islands making up Likiep Atoll include:


Marshall Islands Public School System operates public schools:[4]

  • Jebal Elementary School
  • Likieb Elementary School
  • Melang Elementary School

Northern Islands High School on Wotje serves the community.[5]


  1. ^ Marshallese-English Dictionary - Place Name Index
  2. ^ Municipalities of the Marshall Islands
  3. ^ Coello, Francisco "Conflicto hispano-alemán" Boletín de Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, t.XIX. 2º semestre 1885, Madrid, p.281,287,288
  4. ^ "Public Schools Archived 2018-02-21 at the Wayback Machine." Marshall Islands Public School System. Retrieved on February 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Annual Report 2011-2012." Ministry of Education (Marshall Islands). Retrieved on February 22, 2018. p. 54 (PDF p. 55/118). "Northern Islands High School takes students from the Ratak Ean zone including schools in Aur, Maloelap, Wotje, Ailuk, Utrik, Likiep and Mejit."

External linksEdit