The Managua earthquake occurred at a shallow depth of focus beneath the center of Managua, producing a maximum intensity of MM IX in the center of the city. The epicenter of the main shock is determined to within several kilometers by use of the strong-motion accelerogram recorded at the ESSO refinery. Such accuracy is unprecedented for a large Central American earthquake, and makes the Managua earthquake valuable as a calibration event for minimizing the bias in location of other earthquakes in Nicaragua. The character of the distribution of P-wave residuals and the location of the earthquake well inland from the Benioff zone in Nicaragua suggest that much of the bias in epicenters calculated for earthquakes in the vicinity of Managua is due to station effects rather than source effects. P-wave first-motions are consistent with a left-lateral strike-slip fault as the earthquake source.

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