VIDEO: Covering La Soufriere
Our team of Sandy Pitt and Colville Mounsey spent a week in St Vincent and the Grenadines covering the aftermath of the eruption of La Soufriere volcano.
They share their thoughts on the experience and also spoke with multimedia journalist Nick Maitland.
Hear from them and also see some behind the scenes images from the trip below.
Covering the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent was not only an opportunity to ensure that readers and viewers had a crystal-clear picture of the, the damage, dislocation, moments of humanity and pain that accompanied this rare phenomenon, but also gave me greater insight into the rationale that has informed some of the practices and culture of Vincentian people.
Growing up in St Vincent and born just around the time of the 1979 eruption, I was never able to relate to fears of living to the north of the island or why businesses were all clustered to south. As a Vincentian returning home for the first time in two years my anxiety was palpable, as I had to balance my professional duties while containing the emotion of the disaster that had befallen my beloved country.
Standing on the shoulders of an ever-supportive Nation team in Barbados and bolstered by the go-getter attitude of photojournalist Sandy Pitt, we were able to bring viewers and readers the full impact of the disaster within context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was indeed an honour to be given this opportunity, as I have certainly grown tremendously from this experience. (Colville)
Upon hearing the news that I was being given the opportunity to cover the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent, I was brimming with excitement and nervousness at the same time.
I wanted to ensure that my images fully captured the pain, suffering and moments of hope that our brothers and sisters are enduring in this crisis.
As I approached the coast of Kingstown, it dawned on me that it was on this very island, six years ago, that I did my last overseas assignment with my mentor, the late Editor Emeritus Harold Hoyte. I was able to use that emotion as the fuel that would drive me for those nine grueling days, which saw us moving through ash-covered communities and shelters that housed persons, who had no idea if they had a home to return to.
It was certainly a humbling, yet amazing experience for me. (Sandy)
Click on the white circle to see the photos.