Catastrophe in the Caribbean
On May 8, 1902, the city of St. Pierre on the tiny island of Martinique was immolated when stratovolcano Mount Pelée erupted, spewing superheated gas, rock, and ash. Within minutes, town hall, the cathedral church, the shrine at Morne Rouge, the chamber of commerce, and the botanical gardens were utterly destroyed and 28,000 people were dead. The report in Harpers Weekly stated, The horrible tragedy exceeds anything of the kind that has happened since Pompeii.
Through August 29, Natural Disasters of the Caribbean at HistoryMiami presents photographs, etchings, maps, stereographs, and newspaper clippings that document the regions most devastating volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, waterspouts, and tsunamis. From the flows of Mount Pelée and La Soufrière to the great Puerto Rican hurricane of 1899 to St. Thomass 1867 tsunami, none was more terrible than the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed 280,000. And thats the shocking recent chapter in this history: The Caribbeans worst catastrophe occurred only six months ago.
Thu., Aug. 5, 10 a.m., 2010
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