Mount Pelee

By: Jessica Hart

Mount Pelée is located on the Caribbean island of Martinique, located about fifteen miles north of Fort de France. The volcano reaches a height of about 4,583 fee. This volcano is a stratovolcano and it is made up of mostly pyroclastic rocks. The first few eruptions recorded from this volcano were in 1792 and 1851 but what makes this volcano so famous is its eruption on May 8, 1902. This eruption killed the most people in this century, due to volcanic activity and eruptions. The eruption completely destroyed the city of St. Pierre, killing more than 29,000 people in the process, which is around 15 percent of the island’s population. Two people on the island survived but they were both badly burnt. A British ship managed to make it to St. Lucia, but the crew was severely burnt. These eruptions kept on occurring until August of 1902, killing another 1,000 people that lived on the island. Another thing that makes this volcano so acknowledged is the way that it forms what is called a volcanic spine. A volcanic spine is a rigid column of solidified lava that is pushed up above the throat of the volcano. The most recent volcanic eruption from Mount Pelée was recorded to be from 1929-1932 but the volcano is still considered to be active. This volcano is believed to be 400,000 years old. It was mostly formed by violent and explosive eruptions. When looking on a map to find the island of Martinique where mount Pelée is located, it is above Trinidad and Tobago, right below the island of Dominica. This volcano has left an impact on the lives of many people, especially those affected by the tragedy it caused but thankfully, science and technology has improved so that we can better predict when volcanic activity may occur.

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