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Reading Comprehension Worksheet

Volcano

The infamous volcano of Mt. Pelée looms over the village of St. Pierre on the French Caribbean Island of Martinique. This sleepy little village shows little of the grandeur of turn-of-the-century St. Pierre, which was a vibrant colonial city, known to European tourists as the "Paris of the West Indies." With its red-tiled cottages, rambling streets, and tropical vegetation, this prosperous little city was renowned for its beauty. In the official 1894 census, the population of St. Pierre was around 20,000. Although most were native Martiniquans, the wealth and political power were controlled largely by Creoles and a few French colonial officials and civil servants. No one at the time could have predicted the horror that was to descend on this tropical paradise with the reawakening of Mt. Pelée in the Spring of 1902. The violent eruption of Mt. Pelée on May 8, 1902 generated a pyroclastic flow that rapidly moved down the River Blanche to destroy the small city of St. Pierre on the Island of Martinique. The pyroclastic flow killed over 25,000 people.

1. Where is Mt. Pelée?

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2. What is the tourist nickname for St. Pierre?

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3. Which country is credited for the colonization of St. Pierre?

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4. How many people died in the eruption?

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