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Graduate Retìm kiếm Professor of History, University of Florida, Gainesville. tác giả of Spanish Central America.

Haiti, country in the Caribbean Sea that includes the western third of the isl& of Hispaniola & such smaller islands as Gonâve, Tortue (Tortuga), Grande Caye, and Vabít. The capital is Port-au-Prince.



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Relief and drainage

The generally rugged topography of central & western Hispaniola is reflected in Haiti’s name, which derives from the indigenous Arawak place-name Ayti (“Mountainous Land”); about two-thirds of the total l& area is above sầu 1,600 feet (490 metres) in elevation. Haiti’s irregular coastline forms a long, slender peninsula in the south và a shorter one in the north, separated by the triangular-shaped Gulf of Gonâve. Within the gulf lies Gonâve Islvà, which has an area of approximately 290 square miles (750 square km). Haiti’s shores are generally rocky, rimmed with cliffs, và indented by a number of excellent natural harbours. The surrounding seas are renowned for their coral reefs. Plains, which are quite limited in extent, are the most productive sầu agricultural lands and the most densely populated areas. Rivers are numerous but short, & most are not navigable.

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The backbone of the island of Hispaniola consists of four major mountain ranges that extover from west khổng lồ east. The most northerly range, known as the Cordillera Septentrional in the Dominican Republic, occurs in Haiti only on Tortue Islvà, off the northern coast. Tortue Islvà has an area of about 70 square miles (180 square km). In the 17th century it was a stronghold of privateers and pirates from various countries.

The second major range, Haiti’s Massif du Nord (“Northern Massif”), is a series of parallel chains known in the Dominican Republic as the Cordillera Central. It has an average elevation of some 4,000 feet (1,200 metres). The Citadel (Citadelle Laferrière), a fortress built by Haitian ruler Henry Christophe in the early 19th century, stands atop one of the peaks overlooking the đô thị of Cap-Haïtien & the narrow coastal plain.

An interior basin, known as the Central Plateau in Haiti và the San Juan Valley in the Dominican Republic, occupies about 150 square miles (390 square km) in the centre of the country. The plateau has an average elevation of about 1,000 feet (300 metres), & access lớn it is difficult through winding roads. It is bounded by two minor mountain ranges on the west & south—respectively, the Cahos Mountains and the Noires Mountains. The Artibonite River—the island’s longest, approximately 175 miles (280 km) long—rises in the western Dominican Republic in the Cordillera Central and follows a southwestward course along the border with Haiti. Its tributaries flow eastward và southward through Haiti’s Central Plateau to lớn a point near the Dominican border, where they join the river proper as it turns westward. The Artibonite then skirts the Noires Mountains as it flows khổng lồ the Gulf of Gonâve. In eastern Haiti the river was impounded as Lake Péligre in the mid-20th century; a hydroelectric complex began operating at Péligre in 1971, but its power output has been unreliable during the dry season. Just upstream from the Artibonite’s delta in the Gulf of Gonâve sầu, some of its waters are used to lớn irrigate the triangular Artibonite Plain.

The third major range, known as the Matheux Mountains (Chaîne des Matheux) in west-central Haiti and the Trou d’Eau Mountains (Chaîne du Trou d’Eau) farther east, corresponds to lớn the Sierra de Neicha in the Dominican Republic. The range forms the northern boundary khổng lồ the narrow Cul-de-Sac Plain, which is immediately adjacent to lớn Port-au-Prince và includes the brackish Lake Saumâtre on the Dominican border.

South of the Cul-de-Sac Plain is the fourth major range, called the Massif de la Selle in Haiti và the Sierra de Baoruteo in the Dominican Republic. It rises to lớn 8,773 feet (2,674 metres) at Mount Selle, the highest point in the country. The range’s western extension on the southern peninsula is called the Massif de la Hotte (Massif du Sud), which rises to 7,700 feet (2,345 metres) at Macaya Peak. The Cayes Plain lies on the coast khổng lồ the southeast of the peak.

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Haiti’s mountains are mainly limestone, although some volcanic formations can be found, particularly in the Massif du Nord. Karstic features, such as limestone caves, grottoes, và subterranean rivers, are present in many parts of the country. A long fault line crosses the southern peninsula và passes just south of Port-au-Prince. Haiti is subject to lớn periodic seismic activity; earthquakes destroyed Cap-Haïtien in 1842 and Port-au-Prince in 1751 và 1770. In January 2010 another catastrophic earthquake and its aftershocks resulted in severe damage lớn Port-au-Prince. Buildings collapsed throughout the capital và surrounding region, including many homes as well as large public structures such as the National Palace, the city’s cathedral, and hospitals. Estimates of the number of people killed ranged upward of 200,000, and several hundred thousand others were injured. More than a million people were made homeless. To the west of the capital, near the quake’s epicentre, the city of Léogâne was almost completely ruined.