Pelée


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Pelée

(pəlā`), volcano, 4,429 ft (1,350 m) high, on N Martinique, in the West Indies. On May 8, 1902, the day after the eruption of SoufrièreSoufrière,
volcano, 4,048 ft (1,234 m) high, on St. Vincent island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On May 7, 1902, the day before the great eruption of Pelée on Martinique island, Soufrière erupted, laying waste a third of St.
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 on St. Vincent, Pelée also erupted, engulfing Saint-PierreSaint-Pierre
, town (1990 est. pop. 5,550), Martinique, West Indies. Founded by Esnambuc in 1635 and once the chief commercial city of the island, it was engulfed by a mass of flame, lava, and ash in the eruption (1902) of Pelée.
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 at its base in a pyroclastic flow and killing c.40,000 people in the city and adjacent area. Because the chemical composition of the volcanic ash prevents plant life, the thick layer deposited over a wide expanse is almost complete wasteland. Pelée also erupted in 1792 and 1851.

Bibliography

See G. Thomas and M. M. Witts, The Day the World Ended (1984); E. Zebrowski, Jr., The Last Days of St. Pierre (2002).