Martinique

Geografía General

The Pitons du Carbet and the Mont Pelée (1.397 meters) are to the north. Mount Pelée is famous for the eruption that took place in 1 902 and destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre (about 30.000 persons died).Martinique is largely of volcanic origin and essentially mountainous. The Mont Pelée is a volcano north of the island, in the French West Indies. It is about 1.463 meters above the sea level. On May 8, 1902 it erupted destroying the city of Saint-Pierre and caused the death of about 30.000 persons (most of them by asphyxia) in the city and the surrounding areas. Another eruption took place between 1929 and 1932, with the emission of burning clouds. In 1792 and 1851 the most ancient eruptions which we have notice took place.


Extensión Territorial

With an area of 1.100 square kilometers, Martinique is an overseas department of France.


División Territorial

The most important cities are: Le Lamentin (30.028 inhabitants), Sainte Marie (19.682 inhabitants) and Saint-Pierre.Fort-de-France, the most populous city and the capital of the island of Martinique, is also a chief seaport located in Fort-de-France Bay in the French West Indies. It is the main commercial center of the island, with a beautiful port which is surrounded by three defensive forts..The city, formerly named Fort-Royal, became an important place after the eruption of Mont Pelée that destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre in 1902.


Costas

The country has 1 100 square kilometers of coasts.


Ríos

Several rivers come down from high areas.


Flora

The climatic diversity conditions the vegetation in this region. In that way the vegetation to the north is characteriZed by the typical rainy forests, while in the south there are grasslands and all kind of crops. Flowers are the best decoration of this small place, especially wild orchids, jasmines of the West Indies and the tropical climbing plants, among others. The most important crops are pineapples, bananas and sugar cane which are considered endemic in the island. But there is a tree which produces poisonous fruits. It is called “manzanillo”


Fauna

Due to the indiscriminate hunting of animals, especially the mongoose, there are only a few species of animals in Martinique, mainly mammals. The mongoose, a carnivore originally from India, was brought to Martinique in order to use it as a biological controller of the trigonocephale, a poisonous snack that constituted a real danger for men. Today the mongoose causes a lot of danger to the populations of lizards, iguanas, snacks and even in henhouses.


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