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Haiti General Information
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Haiti Geography


Occupying the western third of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti has an area of 27,750 km² (10,714 mi²) including the islands of Tortuga (La Tortue), Gonâve, Les Cayemites and Vache. Comparatively, the area occupied by Haiti is slightly smaller than Burundi or the state of Maryland, USA. Extending roughly 485 km (300 mi) east-northeast to west-southwest and 385 km (240 mi) south-southeast to north-northwest, Haiti is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the Dominican Republic, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the Windward Passage and the Gulf of Gonâve, with a total land boundary length of 360 km (224 mi) and a coastline of 1,771 km (1,100 mi). Haiti claims Navassa Island, an uninhabited US possession about 50 km (31 mi) west of Hispaniola.

Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince is located on Hispaniola's west coast.

The coastline of Haiti is irregular and forms a long southern peninsula and a shorter northern one, between which lies the Gulf of Gonâve. Rising from the coastal plains to a peak height at La Selle of 2,680 m (8,793 ft) and covering two-thirds of the interior, three principal mountain ranges stretch across the country; one runs east and west along the southern peninsula, while the others stretch northwestward across the mainland. Once-fertile plains run inland between the mountains: the Plaine du Nord, extending in the northeast to the Dominican border, and the Artibonite and Cul-de-Sac plains reaching west to the Gulf of Gonâve. Of the many small rivers, the Artibonite, which empties into the Gulf of Gonâve, and L'Estère are navigable for some distance.

The climate is tropical, with some variation depending on altitude. Port-au-Prince ranges in January from an average minimum of 23°C (73°F) to an average maximum of 31°C (88°F); in July, from 25-35°C (77-95°F). The rainfall pattern is varied, with rain heavier in some of the lowlands and on the northern and eastern slopes of the mountains. Port-au-Prince receives an average annual rainfall of 137 cm (54 in). There are two rainy seasons, April-June and October-November. Haiti is subject to periodic droughts and floods, made more severe by deforestation. Hurricanes are also a menace.


Location : Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic
Geographic coordinates : 19 00 N, 72 25 W
Map references : Central America and the Caribbean
Area : total: 27,750 sq km
land: 27,560 sq km
water: 190 sq km
Area - comparative : slightly smaller than Burundi or the state of Maryland, USA
Land boundaries : total: 360 km
border countries: Dominican Republic 360 km
Coastline : 1,771 km
Maritime claims : territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Climate : tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds
Terrain : mostly rough and mountainous
Elevation extremes
: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m
Natural resources : bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydro power
Land use : arable land: 36.04%
permanent crops: 10.09%
other: 53.87% (2011) /td>
Irrigated land : 970 sq km (2009)
Total renewable water resources : 14.03 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) : total: 1.2 cu km/yr (17%/3%/80%)
per capita: 134.3 cu m/yr (2009)
Natural hazards : lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues : extensive deforestation (much of the remaining forested land is being cleared for agriculture and used as fuel); soil erosion; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements : party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection
Geography - note : shares island of Hispaniola with Dominican Republic (western one-third is Haiti, eastern two-thirds is the Dominican Republic)




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