" Dead cities are rebuilt by survivors, but Saint-Pierre had none"

Couple Ruins of the Theater Saint-Pierre Ruins #2

In 1902, the whole population of Saint-Pierre, about 30,000 people was killed in just a few minutes by molten ash and poisonous gas from nearby volcano. Only one person survived. Before Mt. Pelée erupted, Saint-Pierre was capital city of Martinique in the Caribbean and was often linked to Paris for its beauty and cosmopolitan character. The city was the seat of imposing cathedral; there was theater as well as cafes and restaurants. Just outside town, Pelée’s flattened crest had long been a favorite spot for picnics with clear lake on the peak for swimming.

Saint-Pierre Ruins #3 Saint-Pierre Ruins #1 Saint-Pierre Waterfront

The cloud of death that annihilated Martinique’s city of Saint-Pierre in Mount Pelée lethal eruption is known as a nuée ardente (glowing cloud). It covered the town like an avalanche, but it was a brew of superheated steam possibly as hot as 1000°C /1850°F mixed with clouds of incandescent volcanic ash and many other gases.