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town and small port on the island of Martinique, in the West Indies. Founded in 1635 by French settlers, it was the island's commercial centre until May 8, 1902, when Mount Pelee erupted, killing all but one inhabitant, a prisoner in a strong underground jail cell; some 30,000 people died. Rebuilding has been limited, and many ruins remain. The town is now the centre of a sugar-producing area and has a geological laboratory and a volcanological museum. Pop. (2004 est.) 4,544.