The Last Days of St. Pierre: The Volcanic Disaster that Claimed Thirty Thousand Lives

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Rutgers University Press, 2002 - 291 pagini

On May 8, 1902, Mont Pelée on the island of Martinique exploded. A deadly cloud of steam and ash churned through plantations and villages, flattened the grand city of St. Pierre, then thundered into the bay where it sank eighteen ships and hundreds of smaller craft. Within a minute or two, nearly 30,000 humans died. The splintered rubble of their homes and belongings burned for three days, and the world began to understand the awesome power of nuées ardentes, glowing avalanches of hot gas and debris that sweep down the slopes of volcanoes, instantly steaming to death anything in its path. The enormous death toll was particularly tragic because it was avoidable. Had it not been for an unfortunate combination of scientific misjudgment and political hubris, most of the victims would have escaped.

In The Last Days of St. Pierre, Ernest Zebrowski Jr. counts down the days leading up to the catastrophe, and unfolds a tale intertwining human foolishness and heroism with the remarkable forces of nature. Illustrations contrast life in Martinique before and after the eruption, and eyewitness accounts bring the story to life.

Although it seems a long time since the destruction of St. Pierre, it is a mere blink of an eye in our planet's geological history. Mont Pelée will erupt again, as will Vesuvius, Krakatau, St. Helens, Thera, and most other infamously fatal volcanoes, and human lives will again be threatened. The St. Pierre disaster has taught us much about the awesome power of volcanic forces and the devastation they can bring.

 

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The last days of St. Pierre: the volcanic disaster that claimed thirty thousand lives

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On May 8, 1902, Mont Pelee on the island of Martinique exploded. A vast cloud of superheated steam, ash, rocks, and debris descended on the port city of St. Pierre. In three or four minutes the entire ... Citiți recenzia completă

Cuprins

ASHES FROM THE SKY
1
ISLANDS IN THE SUN
12
PUBLIC SERVANT
21
TARNISHED SILVER
38
AN OMINOUS WEEKEND
52
LAHAR
65
KETTLE OF FROGS
77
LA SOUFRIERE
87
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
152
FRONT PAGES
166
AFTER THE END
182
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN
200
THE CAULDRONS OF HELL
215
MOUTH OF THE DRAGON
229
LESSONS UNLEARNED
242
EPILOGUE
254

FINAL EDITION
104
WHIRLWIND OF FIRE
121
DEATH IN THE BAY
139
SOURCES
280
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