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Map of Oceania

Oceania is a geographical (often geopolitical) region consisting of numerous countries and territories—mostly islands—in the Pacific Ocean. The exact scope of Oceania is controversial, with varying interpretations including East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand.

The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name Oceania is used, rather than Australasia, because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together. Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.

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Whitianga beach, North Island.

New Zealand is a country of two large islands and many smaller islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa in the Māori language, or the Land of the Long White Cloud. The country extends more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) along its main, north-north-east axis.

The population (total 4.4 million in 2011) is mostly of European descent, with Māori being the largest minority. Non-Māori Polynesian and Asian peoples are also significant minorities, especially in the nation's cities. The capital is Wellington, and the largest city is Auckland.

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Tropical Cyclone Percy strikes Swain’s Island on 27 February 2005.

Cyclone Percy was the seventh named storm of the 2004-05 South Pacific cyclone season and the fourth and final cyclone to form during the February 2005 outbreak in the South Pacific Ocean.

Percy was also the most damaging of the February cyclones as it battered the Cook Islands, which were still recovering from the impacts of Cyclones Meena, Nancy and Olaf. Percy then devastated the island of Tokelau, leaving many homeless and millions in dollars in property damages. Because of warnings in anticipation of the storm, there were no deaths and there were only a few injuries.

Relief efforts followed after Cyclone Percy. In Swains Island, a rescue plane dropped food and supplies. In Tokelau and northern Cook Islands, the governments of Australia and New Zealand offered over $200,000 dollars (2005 USD) in relief aid. In Tokelau, many of the local officials feared about contamination since the cyclone had scattered human waste, trash, and other debris in the ocean and across the island. There was also an increase of mosquitoes and other insects, increasing the threat of a dengue fever outbreak. In addition, the storm damaged many of the hospitals, making treatment of the injured or displaced difficult. In Nukunonu, the school, which was destroyed by Percy, was poorly built and vulnerable, and there was no early warning system. Also, many of the population had little time to prepare for the storm because of a social event held hours earlier.

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