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Mauritius, Land and Resources

The island of Mauritius is of volcanic origin. From a low-lying plain in the north, the terrain rises to a plateau that covers the central part of the island. The south is mostly mountainous, rising to a maximum elevation in Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire (828 m/2,717 ft). Several lakes are located in the plateau region, and numerous streams rise in the highlands and radiate to the coast. The island is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs, but Port Louis, the capital, has a fine harbor, accessible to oceangoing ships. The climate is tropical and generally humid. The average annual temperature is 23C (73F) on the coast but is lower in the central plateau. Average annual precipitation ranges from about 1,000 mm (about 40 in) on the coast to about 5,000 mm (about 200 in) in the plateau region. Strong cyclonic storms occur often during the hot season (December to April). The main natural resource is the relatively fertile soil of the island.

 
 

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