616.00 sq km
Eastern Caribbean (UTC-4)
166,637 (2021 est.)
Full Country Name
Dominated by high peaks and rain forests in the interior, Saint Lucia is well known for the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton on the southwestern coast, its beaches and natural harbours. Mount Gimie, the highest peak, is located in the central mountain range and rises to 958 meters (3,143 ft) above sea level. Saint Lucia has a tropical, humid climate moderated by northeast trade winds that allow for pleasant year-round conditions. Mean annual temperatures range from 26 °C (78.8 °F) to 32 °C (89.6 °F). Annual rainfall is approximately 1,999 mm with most precipitation occurring during the June to December wet season.
One third of the population resides in Castries. Gros Islet, Soufrière and Vieux Fort are the other major towns. English is the official language but Saint Lucian Creole French, colloquially referred to as Patois, is spoken by the majority of the population. Currency used: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) or US Dollar (USD).
In the event of an earthquake, volcanic eruption or tsunami the National Emergency Management Office is the official authority in Saint Lucia.
National Emergency Management Office
PO Box 1517
Saint Lucia has an intermediate seismic hazard for the Eastern Caribbean region. The island lies in a transition zone where the rate of seismic activity is climbing. The island’s seismic hazard is not as low as St. Vincent’s but it is not as high as Martinique’s. There are more than 1,500 earthquakes in the defined Saint Lucia seismic zone. – 4 was the annual average number of events greater than magnitude 2.1 up to 2010 that occurred in this specified area; it is now 39. This zone is not as active as areas in the northern Leewards and the Trinidad and Tobago area, but does have a history of a major event. There have been at least five swarms of shallow earthquakes in Saint Lucia in the last 100 years. These occurred in 1906, 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2000. A sixth burst may have occurred in early 1998 when a number of earthquakes were reported felt but for which there were no seismograph recordings. At least three of these swarms, those of 1906, 1990 and 2000, seem to have been triggered by a larger tectonic earthquake. The last tectonic earthquake of note was of Magnitude 7.75 in 1953. The earthquake caused partial collapse of buildings previously damaged by fire, and some damage to other buildings in the capital city of Castries. New buildings designed to resist earthquakes were undamaged.
The Soufrière Volcanic Centre is located near the town of Soufrière in southwest Saint Lucia. This is the youngest and only ‘live’ (likely to erupt again) volcanic centre in the island. About 30,000 years ago violent, large explosive eruptions generated large pyroclastic flows and extensive ashfall. The high cliffs at Choiseul Beach were produced by these eruptions. Since then several lava domes have formed in the Soufrière region, producing smaller eruptions similar to those of the Soufrière Hills Volcano in Montserrat. The most recent eruption associated with the Soufrière Volcanic Centre was a phreatic or steam eruption in 1766. Since then, there has only been hot spring and fumarolic (gas/steam vent) activity. The spectacular Gros and Petit Piton are remnants of two large dacitic lava domes that formed about 200-300 thousand years ago. They represent the steep inner core (“volcanic plug”) of two lava domes after almost all the loose rubbly material that normally aprons lava domes has been removed by efficient erosion due to the wind and the sea.