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The Island Of Jamaica Essay

4119 words - 16 pages

The Island of Jamaica

The island of Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean island. It is in
a group of islands called the greater antilles. It has an area of 10 991
km squared or 4 244 sq. miles. Jamaica spans 230 km east to west and from
80-36 from north to south. It is third only to Cuba, which is the largest,
and Hispaniola which is the second largest island. Jamaica lies in the
Caribbean sea which is a part of the much larger Atlantic ocean. The
island is 960 km south of Florida, 160 km southwest of Haiti, and 140 km
south of Cuba.

Jamaica is mainly a mountainous island but there are 320 km of fine
sandy beaches, swamps, moist fern- forests, sprawling open plains, plateaus,
rushing rivers, and magnificent waterfalls. The Blue Mountains are the
highest mountains in Jamaica and Blue Mountain Peak which is the highest
peak in Jamaica rises to 2256 m or 7 402 feet. They are made up primarily
of limestone. Farther to the west in the cockpit country the limestone has
eroded over many years to form large depressions, narrow valleys,
underground caverns and rivers. Most of the surface rivers are short, swift
flowing and descend quickly to the coast and consist of a series of rapids
and waterfalls. The island is ringed by plains separated by mountain and

The country is divided into three counties. They are Cornwall to the
west, Middlesex is central, and Surrey is to the east. Middlesex is the
largest county. Jamaica is also divided into 14 parishes which are
basically like provinces or states. The parishes are Kingston, St. Andrew,
St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, St. James, Hanover,
Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, and St. Catherine.

Jamaica is mainly a tropical climate. During the course of the year,
Jamaica has no real winter whatsoever. The average yearly temperature
ranges from 27 degrees celsius to 32 degrees celsius. It is cooler in
hills, around 20 to 25 degrees and it is known to dip below 10 degrees in
the blue mountains. Although it is hot in the day, light ocean breezes
result in making the island more comfortable in the day and cooler breezes
blow down from the Blue Mountains at night.

Rain falls in Jamaica 12 months of the year because it is a rainy
tropical climate. The average rainfall is 196 cm per annum. The main
months for raining, however, are May to June and September to October. The
major differences in elevation cause the rain to fall almost 600 cm per
annum on the mountains and only 89 cm on the southeast coast. Hurricanes
can strike anytime between June and October. One of the main hurricanes to
hit Jamaica was hurricane Hugo in 1989 which badly damaged the country.

The vegetation in Jamaica is exceptionally varied. This is mainly
because of the islands varied rainfall, soil, elevations, and climate. Many
of the plants which now thrive in Jamaica's rich soil have been introduced

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