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Saint Kitts and Nevis, which are of volcanic origin, are separated at their closest point by a three-kilometer channel. Nevis the smaller of the two has a surface area of 93.2 square kilometers (36 square miles), while Saint Kitts encompasses an area of 176.12 square kilometers (68 square miles). The islands are however particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and have experienced damages from hurricanes and storms.

Communication between the two islands is afforded by a five-minute plane ride or a forty-five-minute ferry ride. Both islands are equipped with special berthing facilities for cruise ships as well as airport facilities, the one in Saint Kitts being international. After a period of long colonial rule the twin island state attained full political independence in 1983, with the Federal Parliament in St. Kitts representing the highest level of legislative decision-making. The Independence Constitution of 1983 accords substantial autonomy to Nevis, where a local government, The Nevis Island Administration operates. This body is responsible for the conduct of all domestic affairs, whilst the Federal Government is responsible for Foreign Affairs and matters of National Security.