There’s more than one volcano named Soufrière in the Caribbean. I think this French word means “the sulfur maker.” The one on Montserrat recent preempted over half the island, making life extremely difficult for Montserrat’s human residents. However, La Soufrière St. Vincent has a higher 20th-century body count.
La Soufrière St. Vincent had a violent eruption in 1902. It happened at around the same time that Pelée was active on Martinique. Many residents of St. Vincent were killed, and the eruption actually wiped out the last members of the Carib native people.
Today, over a century later, a visit to La Soufrière is a fun adventure:
Disclosure: I know nothing about this tour company and am not associated with them in any way; it’s just a neat video that I found.
Were the two 1902 eruptions – La Soufrière and Pelée – related? As far as I can tell, no one knows for sure. In fact, a third volcano in the vicinity may have erupted at the same time, and it involved, believe it or not, dancing sharks. We’ll look at that in more detail next week.
More information on La Soufrière St. Vincent:
- Report on the Eruptions of the Soufrière. Anderson and Flett. 1903
- Soufrière St. Vincent. Global Volcanism Program
- Soufrière St. Vincent. Oregon State University
- La Soufrière. University of the West Indies
Categories: Sunday morning volcano