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November 29, 2020 at 5:10 pm #14723Ashley Mcgovern
The Eruption of Mount Pelee, the Worst Volcanic Disaster of the 20th Century
by Alwyn Scarth
- ISBN: 9780195218398 (0195218396)
- Release date: June 22, 2002
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
- Genres: history, geology
- Format: hardcover, 246 pages
- Language: english
- Author: Alwyn Scarth
About The Book
On May 8, 1902, on the Caribbean island of Martinique, the volcano Mount Pel�e loosed the most terrifying and lethal eruption of the twentieth century. In minutes, it killed 27,000 people and leveled the city of Saint-Pierre. In La Catastrophe, Alwyn Scarth provides a gripping day-by-day and hour-by-hour account of this devastating eruption, based primarily on chilling eyewitness accounts.
Scarth recounts how, for many days before the great eruption, a series of smaller eruptions spewed dust and ash. Then came the eruption. A blinding flash lit up the sky. A tremendous cannonade roared out that was heard in Venezuela. Then a scorching blast of superheated gas and ash shot straight down towards Saint-Pierre, racing down at hundreds of miles an hour. This infernal avalanche of dark, billowing, reddish-violet fumes, flashing lightning, ash and rocks, crashed and rolled headlong, destroying everything in its path — public buildings, private homes, the town hall, the Grand Hotel. Temperatures inside the cloud reached 450 degrees Celsius. Virtually everyone in Saint-Pierre died within minutes. Scarth tells of many lucky escapes — the ship Topaze left just hours before the eruption, a prisoner escaped death in solitary confinement. But these were the fortunate few. An official delegation sent later that day by the mayor of Fort-de-France reported total devastation — no quays, no trees, only shattered facades. Saint-Pierre was a smoldering ruin.
In the tradition of A Perfect Storm and Isaac’s Storm, but on a much larger scale, La Catastrophe takes readers inside the greatest volcanic eruption of the century and one of the most tragic natural disasters of all time.
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