Wake Island (also known as Wake Atoll) is a coral atoll with a coastline of 19 kilometres just north of the Marshall Islands. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. There are about 150 people living on its 7.5 square kilometres.
On January 6, 2009, President George W. Bush included the atoll as a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. For statistical purposes, Wake is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
Wake is located to the west of the International Date Line and sits in the Wake Island Time Zone (UTC+12), one day ahead of the 50 U.S. states, two-thirds of the way between Honolulu, 3,700 kilomtres to the east and Guam, 2,430 kilometres to the west. The closest land is the uninhabited Bokak Atoll 557 kilometres to the southeast.
Although Wake is officially called an island in the singular form, it is actually an atoll comprising three islands and a reef surrounding a central lagoon. Referring to the atoll as an island is the result of a pre-World War II desire by the United States Navy to distinguish Wake from other atolls, most of which were Japanese territory.
Wake Island lies in the tropical zone, but it is subject to periodic temperate storms during the winter. Sea surface temperatures are warm all year long, reaching above 27 °C in summer and autumn. Typhoons occasionally pass over the island.
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