On This Day: Mt Pele Eruption (May 8th, 1902)
Martinique is home to an active volcano, Montagne Pelee, which erupted in 1902, killing everyone in the town of St. Pierre except the town drunk who had been thrown in jail. During the early stages of the eruption, clouds of red-hot cinders filled the sky and the air was full of the stench of sulfur.
In St. Pierre, foot-long, violet-headed centipedes and deadly fer de lance snakes invaded the mulatto quarter. Despite such hazards, the inhabitants stayed and a river of boiling hot lava claimed 30,000 victims.