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Country Reports

Guadeloupe Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

Guadeloupe offers generally good conditions for travel. Nonetheless, it should be noted that travelers do face some risks while in the island territory.

SOCIOPOLITICAL RISKS

First of all, Guadeloupe (population 403,750) is afflicted with very high rates of unemployment (24 percent) which in part have provoked significant social tensions in the past few years.

NATURAL RISKS

It should also be noted that Guadeloupe is vulnerable to an array of natural disasters. The annual hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Over the past 100 years, 27 hurricanes have passed over the island, sometimes causing flooding and damages from violent winds.

The island also experiences seismic activity. An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck in November 2004, causing substantial material damages in the town of Basse-Terre (population 13,000). On November 30, 2007, a violent earthquake (magnitude 7.3) struck the east of the Caribbean zone; tremors were felt in Guadeloupe.

La Grande Soufrière Volcano, located a few kilometers to the north of Basse-Terre, last erupted in 1976, triggering the evacuation of some 80,000 people. In February 2010, schools in Guadeloupe were closed following an explosion in the dome of a volcano on the nearby island of Montserrat, also called La Soufrière, and falling volcanic ash; Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport was also closed as a precaution.

HEALTH

Regarding health conditions in Guadeloupe, it should be noted that the mosquito-borne diseases dengue fever and chikungunya are both present on the islands.

Additionally, the Zika virus, also transmitted by mosquitoes, has been confirmed on the island. While the virus is usually relatively benign, links between the Zika virus and the birth defect microcephaly (babies born with abnormally small heads) and the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), have been established.

POLITICS

Residents of Guadeloupe vote in the French national elections.

OTHER

As a French department, Guadeloupe forms part of the European Union. The official language is French and the local currency is the euro.

Climate

Guadeloupe's rainy season lasts from May-June until November with the highest temperatures in July-August (27°C). During the dry season, from December to April-May, temperatures are a bit cooler (23°C on average). Temperatures are generally cooler and rain more frequent in the volcanic relief of Basse-Terre. Hurricanes can strike the islands in September and October.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +590 Emergency Services: 112 Police: 17 Ambulance: 15 Fire Dept.: 18

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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