Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about 1,030 kilometres (640 mi) to the west-northwest. It is about 1,350 km south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and 1,770 km northeast of Miami, Florida. Its capital city is Hamilton.
Bermuda is the oldest and most populous remaining British overseas territory, settled by England a century before the Acts of Union created the Kingdom of Great Britain. Bermuda's first capital, St George's, was settled in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas.
Bermuda has a very affluent economy, with finance as its largest sector followed by tourism, giving it the world's highest GDP per capita in 2005. It has a subtropical climate.
Bermuda is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, near the western edge of the Sargasso Sea, roughly 580 nautical miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and roughly 590 nautical miles southeast of Martha's Vineyard. The island lies due east of Fripp Island, South Carolina. It has 103 km of coastline. There are two incorporated municipalities in Bermuda: the City of Hamilton and the Town of St George. Bermuda is divided into various "parishes," in which there are some localities called "villages," such as Flatts Village, Tucker's Town and Somerset Village.
Although usually referred to in the singular, the territory consists of approximately 138 islands, with a total area of 53.3 square kilometres . The largest island, Main Island, is sometimes itself called Bermuda. Compiling a list of the islands is often complicated, as many have more than one name . Despite its small land mass, there has been a tendency for place names to be repeated; there are, for example, two islands named Long Island, and St George's Town is located on St George's Island within St George's Parish .
Although Bermuda's latitude is similar to that of Savannah, Georgia, it is warmer in winter, and slightly cooler in summer. Its humid subtropical climate is warmed by the nearby Gulf Stream, thanks to the westerlies, which carry warm, humid air eastwards over Bermuda, helping to keep winter temperatures above freezing. The climate is humid and, as a result, the summertime heat index can be high, even though mid-August temperatures rarely exceed 30 °C . Winters are mild, with average daytime temperatures in January and February around 20 °C , although cold fronts, which dominate the local weather for most of the year, bring Arctic air masses that can result in rapid temperature drops. Atlantic winter storms, often associated with these cold fronts, can produce powerful, gusting winds and heavy rain. Factoring in the wind chill, the felt air temperature in winter can fall below freezing, 0 °C , even though the actual temperature rarely drops below 10 °C . The lowest recorded temperature in Bermuda as of 2003 is 7.2 °C .
Bermuda is very susceptible to hurricanes. Its position along the Gulf Stream means that it is often directly in the path of hurricanes recurving in the westerlies, although they have usually begun to weaken as they approach the island. It is often affected by these hurricanes, although the island's small size means that direct landfalls are rare. The last hurricane to cause significant damage to the islands was category 3 Hurricane Fabian on September 5, 2003. Its eastern eyewall hit the territory and four people were killed.
The only source of fresh water in Bermuda is rainfall, which is collected on roofs and catchments and stored in tanks. Each dwelling usually has at least one of these tanks forming part of its foundation.

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