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El Salvador:
Geography

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Background
Definition
El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
Location
Definition
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates
Definition
13 50 N, 88 55 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 21,040 sq km
land: 20,720 sq km
water: 320 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 545 km
border countries: Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
Coastline
Definition
307 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrain
Definition
mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resources
Definition
hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 31.37%
permanent crops: 11.88%
other: 56.75% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
450 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
25.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 1.28 cu km/yr (25%/16%/59%)
per capita: 186 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
Environment - current issues
Definition
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note
Definition
smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea


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