Jamaica

Article

August 20, 2022

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean that belongs to the Greater Antilles. It is located south of Cuba and west of Haiti. Jamaica is known, among other things, as the cradle of reggae music and the Rastafari religion, as well as for its many successful sprinters. The majority of Jamaica's 2.7 million inhabitants are dark-skinned, and Africanness is more visible than in other Caribbean islands. The large number of Africans comes from the colonial era, when the British brought slaves from Africa to work on sugar and coffee plantations as part of their triangular trade route. Hurricanes and earthquakes cause destruction from time to time. The water has carved many caves into the island's thick limestone layer. The landscape has also changed due to bauxite mining. Bauxite, mined as a raw material for aluminum, brought prosperity in the early years of the country's independence, but nowadays foreign exchange earnings come from the service sector, mainly from tourism.

Geography

Said to be shaped like a swimming turtle, Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea. Its widest point is 235 kilometers in the east-west direction, and the width is 35–82 kilometers in the north-south direction. The area of ​​Jamaica is 10,911 square kilometers. The state consists mostly of the main island, but it includes some small islets. On the southwest side of the main island, there is a shallow sea area of ​​more than 160 kilometers wide, the Pedro Shoal, and 51 kilometers southeast of the main island are the Morant Cays. Jamaica's distance to Cuba is 145 kilometers and to Haiti 160 kilometers. The distance to Florida is about 800 kilometers: from Kingston to Miami is 920 km. In the eastern part of Jamaica are the Blue Mountains, where the highest point of the island, Blue Mountain Peak (2,256 m), is located, which is only 16 kilometers from the coastal plain. Its slope is one of the steepest in the world. More than half of the island's surface area is located at least 300 meters above sea level. Jamaica is located on the Caribbean lithospheric plate and the area experiences around 200 weak earthquakes per year, but strong earthquakes are rare. In 1692, an earthquake submerged half of the town of Port Royal. The 1907 earthquake destroyed large parts of Kingston. The island of Jamaica has risen from the sea as a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago. Most of the island's soil aggregates are sedimentary or layered rock types, such as limestone. The limestone layer can be kilometers thick in some places. Jamaica's soil is rich in bauxite, which is used as a raw material for aluminum. Bauxite has been mined industrially in Jamaica since the 1950s. Mining has affected the island's landscape, and large ponds of red mud are created as waste from the side stone of aluminum production. The sand on the island's sandy beaches is finely ground coral, which also forms the roaches and small islands near the coasts. The island also has black sand of volcanic origin. Underground rivers have eroded into the island's soft limestone bedrock, which have turned into stalactite caves. There are more than 120 rivers flowing on the island, which run from the mountains to the coasts, turning into rapids, especially after heavy rains. Many rivers disappear into cracks or caves in the karst terrain. With a length of about one hundred kilometers, the Rio Minho is the island's longest river.

Climate

The climate of Jamaica is different in different parts of the island. The windward side has a tropical highland climate, while the lee side is much drier. Warm trade winds from the east and northeast bring rain all year round. On the northern slopes of the mountains, it rains more than 5,000 mm a year, on the drier southern slopes only about 750 mm in places. The sea breeze phenomenon sometimes brings fresh sea air to the coast during the day and cool world at night. Wind fluctuations are sometimes called "doctor