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Island (pop., 2000: 1,517,585), east-central Philippines. The third largest Philippine island after Luzon and Mindanao, it has an area of 5,050 sq mi (13,080 sq km) and is one of the Visayan group. In World War II it was occupied by the Japanese in 1942 and was retaken by the U.S. in 1944. The rugged interior is sparsely settled; permanent settlements are generally coastal. Coconuts and abaca are the main cash crops. The island is well forested, and there are logging and sawmill operations on the eastern coast.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Samar, visit Britannica.com.