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Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée is an active volcano on the northern tip of the French département of Martinique in the Caribbean. Though it was previously considered extinct, Mount Pelée erupted on Saturday, May 10, 1902, destroying the town of Saint Pierre[?], about 4 miles south of the peak. Saint Pierre, which then served as the island's capital, had a population of some 25,000, which was swelled by refugees from minor explosions and mud flows emitting from the volcano, which began to explode on April 25. There were only two survivors: a prisoner in a local jail and a man who lived at the edge of the city. Included among the victims were the passengers and crews of several ships docked at Saint Pierre.

One ship, the Roraima, which went missing on April 26, is believed to have been engulfed by ash from a preliminary explosion.

Mount Pelée continued to wreak devastation well into 1903. On August 3, 1902, some 2,000 people are believed to have died when a lava flow struck the village of Morne Rouge.

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