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Pelée

Pelée pəlā´ [key], 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 Soufrière on St. Vincent, Pelée also erupted, engulfing Saint-Pierre 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.

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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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