Virtual volcano and earthquake campaign to debut in Dominica


Roseau, Dominica; St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago W.I. -November 23rd, 2020 – Dominicans residing both in and out of the island are set to benefit from a virtual public awareness campaign on volcanic and seismic hazards which kicks off this week.

This is part of the Earth Science Week event which is coordinated by The UWI Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC) in different Eastern Caribbean countries each year.  This year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The UWI-SRC is collaborating with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in Dominica for its first ever virtual geo-hazard awareness campaign.

“Although the world’s attention is currently focused on the pandemic, it is important that we continue to be resilient in preparing and educating the public on geo-hazards as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can occur at any time,” said Dr Erouscilla Joseph, Director of The UWI Seismic Research Centre.  “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with the ODM on this important event,” she continued.

The public will be afforded the opportunity to engage scientists, technical personnel and emergency management teams in the virtual space via Zoom sessions and social media to find out more on these hazards.

Key activities for the week include a simulcast radio interview about volcanoes and earthquake specific to Dominica on Monday November 23rd at 10:00am facilitated by Dr. Erouscilla Joseph, Director of SRC; Stacey Edwards, Education & Outreach Manager (SRC); Mr. Fitzroy Pascal, National Disaster Coordinator and Mr. Mandela Christian, Programme Officer from the ODM. The public is urged to tune in for this informative discussion.

On Tuesday November 24th The UWI-SRC will provide a virtual tour of its facility in Trinidad followed by a Q & A session for upper secondary school students in Dominica via a Zoom webinar.

On Wednesday November 25th, at 10:00am, there will be a virtual public meeting by the SRC and ODM on Dominica’s volcanoes, earthquake impacts and preparedness among other interesting topics via Zoom (https://uwi.zoom.us/j/99276332491, Meeting ID: 992 7633 2491 / Passcode: 460029).

On Thursday November 26th, a virtual national stakeholder consultation will be conducted with a focus on reviewing the Volcanic Alert Levels for Dominica.

Throughout the week videos, infographics and other products covering information on volcanoes and earthquakes in Dominica will be featured on the ODM and The UWI-SRC social media platforms (@uwiseismic; @ODMDominica1), including a virtual geological field visit to the Valley of Desolation & Boiling Lake which will be posted on Friday November 27th.

Fitzroy Pascal, National Disaster Coordinator stated that “It is important that the public is made aware of the ways they may be affected by volcanic and earthquake hazards and more so, how to be safe during these events.”  He continued, “I am encouraging the public to embrace this opportunity to increase their awareness on these hazards as we seek to build resilience in a multi-hazard environment.”

Dominica has nine (9) ‘live’ volcanoes which are monitored by The UWI Seismic Research Centre. Since December 2018 there has been ongoing swarms of volcanic earthquakes, some of which, have been felt, signalling that the island is volcanically active. The UWI-SRC and the ODM continue to work closely to monitor the activity and to keep the public educated and informed.



The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) in Dominica is the official organization tasked with managing disaster and emergency related activities on island. The ODM supports building the capacity of individuals and communities to prepare for and respond to disasters through activities such as education and outreach and trainings.  

ODM is the secretariat of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) which is chaired by the Prime Minister. NEPO is comprised of participants in national disaster management efforts on island. NEPO Advisory Committee is mandated to develop and recommend policies, plans and guidelines to address issues across all phases of the disaster management cycle for - prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and rebuilding measures for the Country.

Disaster management activities and general operations of the ODM are guided by the National Disaster Plan which addresses the short and long term objectives of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO).




The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.

Established in 1952, the Seismic Research Centre is a Centre within The UWI.  It operates the largest network of seismographs and other geophysical instruments in the Caribbean region.  The SRC monitors earthquakes and volcanoes for most of the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean as well as it conducts education and outreach activities in these countries.  The Centre is involved in a regional effort to establish a tsunami warning system for the Caribbean.