|A detail of damaged buildings on Rue Victor Hugo, from the 14 May photo shown above [Heilprin 1903, p. 38].|
This construction is quite similar to the Roman method of making a wall with a core of rubble and concrete plus a stone or brick facing that served as permanent formwork. The St. Pierre example lacks the stone facing, using removable formwork instead. The Cathedral of St. Pierre, shown below after the May 20 eruption, shows a similar construction of stones and concrete.
|The ruins of the Cathedral of St. Pierre, after the May 20 eruption. [Heilprin 1903, p. 58].|
As a result of this similarity of construction types, it is probably reasonable to draw general comparisons between damage patterns visible at St. Pierre and those at Pompeii. LaCroix  drew such comparisons, and work is underway to translate LaCroix's writing from the orginal French.
The 1902 eruptions of Mt. Pelée compellingly demonstrate the destructive potential of pyroclastic surge. The photographs and accounts provide useful information concerning the kinetic energy, temperature and direction of pyroclastic flow and its effect on building structures. To provide a broader view of pyroclastic phenomena and structural behavior, the following discussion examines another well-documented event where structures were subjected to pyroclastic loadings: the 1951 eruption of Mt. Lamington.
|Next: The 1951 eruption of Mt. Lamington|