Before the eruption of Mount Pelée in 1902, there was a local legend that it was a “fire mountain.” Little did the islanders know, it would destroy their entire town, leaving just three survivors.
Mount Pelée is a semi-active volcano located on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which is categorized as an overseas region of France. Its devastating eruption in 1902 is considered to be the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. Hot mud, lava, and ash rained down on the town of Saint-Pierre, killing 30,000 people within minutes.
For several days before the eruption, residents of Saint-Pierre noticed that the mountain was making “fireworks.”
Then, on May 8, the volcano erupted, pushing a giant cloud of hot gases, mud, lava, and ash toward the town at a speed of 420 miles per hour.
Within minutes, Saint-Pierre was completely destroyed.