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El Salvador Geography

    Location: Middle America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras

    Geographic coordinates: 13 50 N, 88 55 W

    Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

    total: 21,040 sq km
    land: 20,720 sq km
    water: 320 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

    Land boundaries:
    total: 545 km
    border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km

    Coastline: 307 km

    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 200 nm

    Climate: tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April)

    Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m

    Natural resources: hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum

    Land use:
    arable land: 27%
    permanent crops: 8%
    permanent pastures: 29%
    forests and woodland: 5%
    other: 31% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 1,200 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes very destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity

    Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes; Hurricane Mitch damage

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

    Geography—note: smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea

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