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Eritrea Geography Profile 2017

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LocationEastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
Geographic coordinates15 00 N, 39 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 117,600 sq km
land: 101,000 sq km
water: 16,600 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 1,840 km
border countries (3): Djibouti 125 km, Ethiopia 1,033 km, Sudan 682 km
Coastline2,234 km (mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
Climatehot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually, heaviest June to September); semiarid in western hills and lowlands
Terraindominated 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 extremesmean elevation: 853 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: near Kulul within the Danakil Depression -75 m
highest point: Soira 3,018 m
Natural resourcesgold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
Land useagricultural land: 75.1%
arable land 6.8%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 68.3%
forest: 15.1%
other: 9.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land210 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsfrequent droughts, rare earthquakes and volcanoes; locust swarms
volcanism: Dubbi (elev. 1,625 m), which last erupted in 1861, was the country's only historically active volcano until Nabro (2,218 m) came to life on 12 June 2011
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notestrategic 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

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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