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The island is roughly rectangular in shape with a surface area of ca. 227 square kilometres (88 square miles). From east to west it measures 24 kilometres (15 miles) and from north to south no more than 16 kilometres (9.9 miles). The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The area is flat in the north-central and central parts, the eastern part south of Calhau, and the northern part in the Baía das Gatas area. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. The island, of volcanic origin, is fairly flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde (green mountain), located in the northeast-central part with an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 feet). Although very eroded, some craters still remain, in particular near the bay of Mindelo. Other mountains include Monte Cara and Topona. A small islet, Ilheu dos Passaros, is less than one nautical mile off the coast north of Porto Grande Bay off Mindelo, the island being one of five that have surrounding islets. Until the mid-20th century, trees were scarce in the island, and most of the island remains deforested. Most of the wide valleys and smaller dales have become forested, particularly in the middle of the island.