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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