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How dangerous are pyroclastic flows?

A pyroclastic flow is a hot (typically >800 °C), chaotic mixture of rock fragments, gas, and ash that travels rapidly (tens of meters per second) away from a volcanic vent or collapsing flow front.

Pyroclastic flows can be extremely destructive and deadly because of their high temperature and mobility. During the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelee (Martinique, West Indies), for example, a pyroclastic flow (also known as a “nuee ardente”) demolished the coastal city of St. Pierre, killing nearly 30,000 inhabitants.

Tags: Geothermal Resources, Earthquakes, Tectonics, Monitoring, Volcanoes, Lava, Seismicity, Ring of Fire