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Sri Lanka Geography

    Location: Southern Asia, island in the Indian Ocean, south of India

    Geographic coordinates: 7 00 N, 81 00 E

    Map references: Asia

    Area:
    total: 65,610 sq km
    land: 64,740 sq km
    water: 870 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 1,340 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: tropical monsoon; northeast monsoon (December to March); southwest monsoon (June to October)

    Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plain; mountains in south-central interior

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Pidurutalagala 2,524 m

    Natural resources: limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay

    Land use:
    arable land: 14%
    permanent crops: 15%
    permanent pastures: 7%
    forests and woodland: 32%
    other: 32% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 5,500 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: occasional cyclones and tornadoes

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

    Geography—note: strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)