This is the small town of Saint-Pierre, located on Martinique in the eastern Caribbean Sea. At the turn of the 20th century, Saint-Pierre was a thriving city known in Europe as the, “Paris of the West Indies.” It’s infamous volcano, Mount Pelée, lies hidden in the clouds on the left. On May 8th, 1902, Mount Pelée unleashed its fury and subsequently burned the city of Saint-Pierre to the ground, taking 28,000 souls with it.
There were only three survivors from the city. One was a shoe maker who lived on the edge of town. He was badly burned, but managed to walk to a neighboring town to find help. The second survivor was a little girl who managed to make it to her brother’s small boat and took refuge in a nearby sea cave. She passed out due to the fumes and was later found 2 miles out to sea. The final survivor was a convict who was in solitary confinement in the town’s jail. He was badly burned by the heat of the pyroclastic flow, but managed to survive for four days until rescued by people searching through the debris. He later joined the Barnum & Bailey Circus, touted as the lone survivor of Saint-Pierre.
Today, in the middle of the small town, you can still see what little remains of the old burned down city.