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    Eritrea Geography 2000

      Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan

      Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 39 00 E

      Map references: Africa

      total: 121,320 sq km
      land: 121,320 sq km
      water: 0 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly larger than Pennsylvania

      Land boundaries:
      total: 1,630 km
      border countries: Djibouti 113 km, Ethiopia 912 km, Sudan 605 km

      Coastline: 2,234 km total; mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km

      Maritime claims: NA

      Climate: hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually); semiarid in western hills and lowlands; rainfall heaviest during June-September except in coastal desert

      Terrain: dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: near Kulul within the Denakil depression -75 m
      highest point: Soira 3,018 m

      Natural resources: gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish

      Land use:
      arable land: 12%
      permanent crops: 1%
      permanent pastures: 49%
      forests and woodland: 6%
      other: 32% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land: 280 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: frequent droughts and locust storms

      Environment - current issues: deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note: strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)