La Grande Soufrière

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La Grande Soufrière
Guadeloupe 114 - Sommet de la Soufrière 1467m - Guadeloupe.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 1,467 m (4,813 ft)
Prominence 1,467 m (4,813 ft)
Listing
Coordinates 16°02′40.56″N 61°39′51.12″W / 16.0446000°N 61.6642000°W / 16.0446000; -61.6642000Coordinates: 16°02′40.56″N 61°39′51.12″W / 16.0446000°N 61.6642000°W / 16.0446000; -61.6642000
Geography
La Grande Soufrière is located in Guadeloupe
La Grande Soufrière
La Grande Soufrière
Geology
Mountain type Stratovolcano
Volcanic arc/belt Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc
Last eruption 1976 to 1977

La Grande Soufrière, (French: "big sulphur outlet"), is an active stratovolcano on the French island of Basse-Terre, in Guadeloupe. It is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, and rises 1,467 m high.[1]

In 1976 a large amount of seismic activity led to a mass evacuation of the island's 72,000 residents.[1] There was a bitter, and well-publicized, controversy between scientists Claude Allègre and Haroun Tazieff on whether evacuation should occur. Allègre held that inhabitants should be evacuated, just in case, while Tazieff held that the Soufrière was harmless. The prefect decided to evacuate, erring on the side of prudence. The volcano erupted on August 30,1976, but was less severe than had been predicted.[1] There were no fatalities, owing to the complete evacuation.[1]

While the island was deserted, the German filmmaker Werner Herzog traveled to the abandoned town of Basse-Terre to find a peasant who had refused to leave his home on the slopes of the volcano. His journey is recorded in the film La Soufrière.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 353. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.