The Misinformed Town of St. Pierre
Although Mont Pelee had some volcanic activity occurring prior to 1902, the small town of Le Precheur and St. Pierre were never encouraged to leave the area. Even in April when sulphuric emissions increased, it was printed in the local newspaper, Les Colonies, that there was no danger to St. Pierre from an eruption. It was later determined that the editor of Les Colonies had published this to prevent the population from evacuating before the elections on May 11. It has been speculated that the Government strongly encouraged the newspaper to dismiss the imminent hazard of the volcano.