Monday, July 12, 2010

St. Pierre, Martinique

As I slowly work my way down island due to very aggressive weather this year, I have stayed insome very intersting anchorages. St Pierre is a classic. It was until 1903 called the Paris of the Caribe. It was the capitol and had art gallerys and theaters and a vibrant French social scene. Overlooking this extremely beautiful is the volcano, Pelee. In 1903 it starting out with minor eruptions and the 30,000 residents of St Pierre were concerned if evacuation was appropriate.

 It seems the governor was up for reelection so he hired a geologist who specialized in volcanoes to determine if there was any danger of a cataclysmic event.The governor was worried if the city evacuated he would not be reelected. Needless to say, Pelee erupted and wiped out 30,000 people with a pyroclastic flow. There was one survivor. A prisoner in the local jail!
The town was rebuilt upon the ruins of the old town. Many buildings in the downtown area are cobbled together with new and old. A very interesting stop if you ever come this way

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