The Eruption of Mount Pelee:
Why doesn't anyone seem to know about this?
Did you know that "only" about 2,000 people died in Pompeii when Mt Vesuvius erupted? I say "only" because when Mount Pelee erupted in 1902, it killed 30,000 people---every man, woman and child and every other living thing---wiping out St. Pierre, the "Paris of Martinique"; the economic center of the Caribbean Islands. Actually, though horribly burned, there was one survivor; a condemned prisoner sentenced to die the next day and residing in the isolation cell. (He was pardoned and later toured with the Barnum & Bailey Circus.)
All news to me...
When we left Fort du France, Martinique, on the south end of Martinique on January 22, we sailed up the west coast to the top of Martinique and visited St. Pierre, the town re-built over the rubble left from the eruption. We snorkeled over one of the 7-8 sunken ships that went down in 25-50 feet of water and we walked the streets so vividly described in a book about the disaster, "The End of the World." Fascinating read. Fascinating experience.
The volcano had been waking up for weeks but government officials (for political reasons) kept reassuring everyone that there was nothing to fear. In late April and early May in the surrounding areas on farms and hamlets, mudslides were killing hundreds, the earth was opening up and swallowing people, and flash floods were drowning many more. The shame of it was that the government encouraged people to seek refuge in St. Pierre. It was safe they assured them. As the volcano got angrier and angrier, the Governor of Martinique and his wife even came up from Fort du France to calm people. They stayed at a fancy hotel and the next morning on May 8 at 8:02 am....they were all burned to death--30,000-- by a pyroclastic cloud of superheated gases and hot ash that enveloped the city. Read about it on Wikipedia....
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Rick and Linda Grimes bought a sailboat and left the U S of A for the Caribbean in 2015.