The island is composed mainly of one active and several extinct volcanoes; its highest point is Le Piton des Neiges (10,069 ft/3,069 m). Le Piton de la Fournaise in S Réunion is one of the earth's most active volcanoes. Settlement and cultivation are concentrated in the coastal lowlands. Most of the inhabitants are Roman Catholic and speak a creole patois. Since the 19th cent. sugar has been by far the island's chief product and export. Molasses, vanilla, tobacco, tropical fruits, and rum are also produced.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.