Seismic Research Centre helps launch short films on the 1979 eruption of the Soufriere Volcano of St. Vincent

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC) will launch three short films (The 1979 eruption; Response and Recovery; Living with the Volcano), during the 2014 UWI Open Campus Literary Festival scheduled for 17-19 October. A synergy of art and science the films will feature the voices of Vincentians speaking about their experiences during the 1979 eruption of La Soufriere Volcano, St. Vincent.

The films are an initiative derived from the STREVA research project (, which involves collaboration between The UWI (the Seismic Research Centre & Disaster Risk Reduction Centre) and researchers in the UK, Central and South America.
The short oral history films bring together STREVA researchers with communities at risk and decision-makers on St. Vincent and the Caribbean while developing a collaboration with Lambda Films (, a commercial video production company, to develop techniques that engage and inform communities about volcanic risk in a way that helps promote tangible actions that reduce risk.

Dr. Richard Robertson, Director of The UWI Seismic Research Centre said, “I am very excited about these films. They have given a much-needed opportunity to Vincentians to record their experiences of an event that had a tremendous impact on the country. These stories are an untapped resource in the accurate reconstruction of past events and it is great that finally the untold story of the 1979 eruption has been captured for the benefit of future generations.”

Professor Jenni Barclay leader of the STREVA project said “The films give a rarely recorded, strong voice to people who have to put up with an evacuation order by living in a shelter or come back to pick up the pieces. I think that this is really strong stuff both for the community of St. Vincent and in building context for those who contribute to the making of those decisions anywhere.”

The University of East Anglia, the University of Oxford and The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre support the launch, with on-island support from the UWI Open Campus and St. Vincent’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO). Further information may be found at