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Saint Lucia, Land and Population

Of volcanic origin, Saint Lucia is traversed from north to south by a forested mountain range that culminates in Mount Gimie (950 m/ 3,117 ft). In the south, Soufriere, a volcanic crater with hot sulfur springs, offers a potential source of geothermal energy. The mountains contain many streams and fertile valleys. Saint Lucia has a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 26 C (79 F). The average annual rainfall ranges from about 1,500 mm (about 60 in) on the coast to more than 2,500 mm (more than 100 in) in the mountains. The rainy season lasts from May to August.

Saint Lucia had a total population (2002 estimate) of 160,145. Most of the population is black, and about 90 percent is Roman Catholic. English is the official language, but a French patois is widely spoken. The capital and largest city is Castries (population, 1998 estimate, 60,934); it is also the principal port and has an excellent harbor.

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