Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, is the large gray region on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, left of center. Managua lies within a volcanic chain. One smoking volcano, Masana, appears near the bottom of the view. The cone of a dormant volcano juts out as a peninsula into Lake Nicaragua. This cone contains a small, round lake. The round lake to the right of Masana indicates the cone of yet another volcano. Various agricultural fields (light and dark pattern at center) blanket the areas around these volcanos. Farmers prefer to grow crops in this area because the soils that form on the volcanic rocks are very fertile.
Volcanos in many parts of the world are major hazards for nearby cities because of the danger of lava and ash flows, airborne ash, and earthquakes. Airborne ash can smother surface vegetation and give rise to mudflows when subsequent rains fall. Earthquakes often occur in tectonically active regions where volcanos tend to develop. Managua was heavily damaged and needed to be extensively rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake. The entire business district was rebuilt after the severe earthquake of 1972. Tokyo, Mexico City, and Seattle are other examples of cities that exist near active volcanos.
November 1984, image STS-51A-32-64.