Mt. Pelee, West Indies April 25th - May 8th,1902 Eugene Hall

Mount Pelee is a modern day semi active volcano that is precisely located at the northern end of Martinique. Which is an island that is and the French overseas department in the Lesser Antilles island arc of the Caribbean.
Martinique was no different from any of the other places within the Lesser Antilles it was built near volcanoes. One volcanoe that it sat by was Mount Pelee which was just 7 kilometers away, and it also towered over the city almost 1,400 meters above. Although it wasn't known for being very active, although in 1792 it showed some signs of activity. As well as again in 1851, when it had "showered" the city with "fine ash".
On April 1902 it began to show signs of some activity although it was very little, although on the night of May 2nd, 1902 a little eruption gained the people's attention. The residents awoke to "hot glowing" rocks and birds that appeared to have fell from the air. It was also reported to be dead fish floating in the water.
On May 5th that is when things took a turn for the worst, a massive lahar broke out and reportedly came down the river at speeds almost of 100 kilometers per hour. Debris came through and destroyed a plant and it also killed at least two dozen people. It then spilled into the ocean causing a tsunami which grew 3 meters high. Although the Ascension Day was on May 8th although there is multiple stories of what actually took place on this day. Although everyone knows that in a matter of a few minutes a blast of hot gas and debris obliterated St. Pierre. Reports say that only a few survived and almost 30,000 people lost their lives. One of the notable among the dead was the governor, it is believed that most people were killed from suffocation and burns scorching their lungs and their skins. Based on the burned woods that remained it suggests that the gas cloud was between 350 and 450 degrees Celsius. The explosion essentially wiped out the town with the cloud winds believed to have reached 100 meters per second.
After the eruption the mountain was still active, on May 20th another nuee ardente "engulfed" the ruins of the city. Then again on Aug 30th another eruption wiped out the village of Morne Rouge. The estimated Death toll was about 1,000 - 1,500 lives lost. Although the most blunt sign of the activity was when an "obelisk-shaped" lava dome had began to rise. In 1903 it rose at least 10 meters in an eight day span and another 6 meters in a four day span. The peak of it loomed almost 350 metes above the crater. It continued on until the spring of 1903 until it crumbled.
Researched has shown that the mountain can be both violent and unpredictable. It has exhibited many different behaviors at many different times. Although the eruption in 1902 is distinct due to it's violent eruption and how many lives it took. It is actually ranked as the most deadliest disaster of the 20th century, it also ranked as the third most deadliest disaster in history. After the 1815 eruption of Tambora and the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. Although the Mount. Pelee eruption killed most people directly, while the other two death toll rose from starvation, disease, and things of that nature.

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Created By
Eugene Hall

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