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    Puerto Rico Geography 2000

      Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic

      Geographic coordinates: 18 15 N, 66 30 W

      Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

      total: 9,104 sq km
      land: 8,959 sq km
      water: 145 sq km

      Area - comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Rhode Island

      Land boundaries: 0 km

      Coastline: 501 km

      Maritime claims:
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      Climate: tropical marine, mild; little seasonal temperature variation

      Terrain: mostly mountains, with coastal plain belt in north; mountains precipitous to sea on west coast; sandy beaches along most coastal areas

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
      highest point: Cerro de Punta 1,338 m

      Natural resources: some copper and nickel; potential for onshore and offshore oil

      Land use:
      arable land: 4%
      permanent crops: 5%
      permanent pastures: 26%
      forests and woodland: 16%
      other: 49% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: 390 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: periodic droughts; hurricanes

      Environment - current issues: erosion; occasional drought causing water shortages

      Geography - note: important location along the Mona Passage - a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal; San Juan is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean; many small rivers and high central mountains ensure land is well watered; south coast relatively dry; fertile coastal plain belt in north

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