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Puerto Rico Geography 1996

    • Affiliation:
      (commonwealth associated with the US)

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

    • Map references:
      Central America and the Caribbean

    • Area:

        total area:
        9,104 sq km

        land area:
        8,959 sq km

        comparative area:
        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

    • International disputes:

    • 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

    • Natural resources:
      some copper and nickel, potential for onshore and offshore crude oil

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      390 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        the recent drought has caused water levels in reservoirs to drop and prompted water rationing for more than one-half of the population

        natural hazards:
        periodic droughts

        international agreements:

    • 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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