La Soufriere Volcano Erupts

Submitted by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green

An aspect that should get people asking questions is whether drilling into areas of active magmatism might cause volcanism.

That controversy was sparked in the Philippines when 20 earthquakes were felt soon after drilling for a new geothermal prospect on Canlaon Volcano. A congressional enquiry has been suggested, an inquiry into the tremors and their relation to the drilling and Canlaon. This would be a serious issue as Canloan (the volcano) is close to Canlaon City (population ~50,000).

This is not a new accusation in the Philippines either, as the Aetas believed that drilling caused the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo.

Drilling is the most likely cause of the infamous “mud volcano” in Indonesia, but that is related to the water and heat rather than magma’s new movements. It must be easy to link geothermal drilling to any increase in “restlessness” at any volcano nearby, but there is no hard evidence that drilling can have such a direct effect on volcanism.

Because there is no evidence that drilling can cause a volcanic reaction does not mean that such actions cannot cause an eruption. Of course, drilling companies will never repeat such beliefs; they would be more likely to suppress those mutterings.

Nature being what it is, anything is possible when you interfere or tamper with it.

It is instructive to briefly look at the close spatial association between volcanoes, eruptions, and geothermal development as a means of justification. Active or potentially active volcanoes are often targeted in the search for high-temperature geothermal resources. One specific example of an existing geothermal installation at an active volcano is the 22 MW Momotombo geothermal relatively small eruptions, interspersed with occasional, considerable explosive activity. The most recent eruption at Momotombo was in 1905, when lava flowed down from the summit crater to the volcano’s NE base (Siebert & Simkin, 2002-).

There appears to be some correlation between geothermal development and Holocene eruptions; concern for the potential impacts of future volcanic eruptions on geothermal installations is warranted and should be extensively studied. As more geothermal development occurs near potentially active volcanoes, the chances of significant eruption will only increase.

In Iceland, on September 8, 1977, magma moving through a subterranean dike intersected a geothermal borehole at the Námafjall geothermal field in Iceland (Larsen et al., 1979). Three tons of magma erupted through an 1138 m deep borehole in 20 minutes, leaving a deposit of 968 tons of volcanic scoria and ash on the land surface around the well. The Námafjall geothermal field is located on Krafla caldera’s flank, which experienced a major volcanic rifting episode with associated faulting and magma intrusion since December 1975.

There are all sorts of stories regarding the volcanic eruption in Saint Vincent. Some say that the wells drilled for the geothermal project were on the island’s wrong part. The drilling took place there because ULP politics were in play, advice had been to drill elsewhere, but multimillion expensive drilling nevertheless was ordered and went ahead.

Drilling of the first well SVG01 lasted from April 30, 2019, to July 27, 2019, 89 days to a depth of 2,700 meters. With challenges due to the unstable formation in the well, it was necessary to correct the well’s inclination, which then collapsed at a depth of 1,889 meters. The total cost of drilling this well was $7.7 million, and a temperature of 155 degrees Celsius was measured at a depth of 1,880 meters. The project team announced there was still the possibility of successfully drilling a side-track from 1,800 to 2,700 meters and additional stimulation.

The second well, SVG03, was drilled between August 7, 2019, and October 29, 2019, including seven days of stimulation to a depth of 2,283 meters (total length 2,800 meters). The well collapsed at a depth of 1,627 meters and a side-track from 1,160 meters. The total cost of the well was $7.6 million. The well’s temperature was 220 degrees Celsius at a depth of 2,800 meters with though low permeability. They announced the well testing was outstanding, but they planned to continue stimulation to increase flow capacity.

Drilling for the third well, SVG02, began on November 4, 2019, and ended on January 15, 2020, including 19 days’ stimulation. The depth of the well is 2,990 meters (2,869 vertical depth). The drilling cost was $5.6 million with a temperature of 230 to 250 degrees Celsius. They announced this well would have to be stimulated.

Side-tracking the first well, SVG01 was next on the agenda with stimulation using a downhole packer to seal the downhole at 1,700 meters. The same was then tried to SVG03.

It was expected that testing would be concluded around July 2020; at that time, estimates could be made about the wells’ possible capacity for power generation.

In August 2020, Ellsworth Dacon, the Vincentian Project Director of the project, told local news. “The results weren’t as expected. We got permeability, but not sufficient enough for it to be commercially viable.” “While there is undoubtedly a geothermal source at Bamboo Range, the inadequacy of the permeability of the rocks means that the heat cannot pass through the rocks at the needed rate.” Dacon went on to say, “We are looking at some closed-loop systems and speaking to three companies, so we will see how it goes.”

In real quick time, the Icelandic company packed up and pulled out of SVG. The geothermal project on St. Vincent & the Grenadines spent over US$ 35 million since the start in 2012, with around US$700k from the Vincentian government, US$ 29 million in grant funding, and $7 million in funding from private equity.

Drilling equipment was hastily moved from the site and shipped overseas.

The ULP propagandist Vinciman said in 2017, “Our greatest fear is La Soufriere Volcano, and even so, we just go about our business as usual, like … it doesn’t even exist.”

In reply, Peter Binose wrote in 2017, “We now know the greatest fear of Ralph Gonsalves is La Soufriere Volcano erupting before Argyle officially opens. Because if that happened, it would be the end of the Argyle airport project; no airline would ever fly in there after that. There is the possibility that it will erupt in the future, perhaps even sometime soon.”

Binose went on to write in reply to Vinciman, “I am glad you mentioned La Soufriere Volcano and being worried about it erupting, so you should be. Because it is very much a live volcano and, according to records, is overdue to erupt. All aircraft sitting at the airport will be lost because the hot ash will destroy them. They will end up as scrap metal. They certainly will not be able to fly in the ash cloud, and the airport is within an area where hot rocks will rain down. Argyle may become an insurance nightmare for resident and visiting aircraft, with runway subsidence more than a possibility, huge winds when not expected and now a live volcano to consider.”

La Soufriere Volcano is an active volcano, it last erupted in 1979, and there is always steam and gasses rising from it, although it is currently resting. Looking at the record of La Soufriere’s past eruptions and the intervals between them, an eruption is now long overdue. So, it is not ‘if’ but when, and the regime knows that, which has frightened them. And as I previously said, “so it should”.

Binose wrote many articles about the Gonsalves folly of building facilities such as the Argyle airport and the Specialist Medical facility at Georgetown. But everything was built in those dangerous areas for ULP political purposes to generate jobs for the abundant ULP supporters in those areas. Binose even wrote about the folly of drilling where they did; perhaps if his advice had been taken, there would have been no current eruption and no investment damage.

Once more, we must place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Ralph Gonsalves actions, even in this current event. What has happened was on the cards to happen. He ignored sound advice from many critics and must be considered a fool.

Proverbs 12-15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.

55 thoughts on “La Soufriere Volcano Erupts

  1. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

    12:14. When men use their tongues aright, to teach and comfort others, they enjoy acceptance through Christ Jesus; and the testimony of their conscience, that they in some measure answer the end of their being. 15. A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes.

  2. Zechariah 14:4

    And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

  3. These people are drunken with power
    I often ask my self why the people give them so much power keep putting them in office
    But God sees all and knows all nothing that is happening now is of accident
    Yuh sow the wind they will reap the whirlwind

  4. The LORD Visits Sinai..

    16On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud was upon the mountain, and a very loud blast of the ram’s horn went out, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the LORD had descended on it in fire. And the smoke rose like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.…

  5. Fortacresandamule, you are a silly billy, everything I have written is the truth and written evidence to support, so how can it be garbage. You are obviously connected to the filth.

  6. @Nathan. You are grabbing at straw. You are like those who blamed 5G technology for the Covid pandemic. You guys have no shame.

  7. fortyacresandamule April 12, 2021 2:22 PM #: “Another garbage post.”

    The guy reminds me of regular ‘Brass tacks’ callers, Alvin and ‘the Trinidad Woman,’ as well as BU’s Angela Cox and Carson C. Cadogan.

    He would find some reason to blame the ‘Comrade,’ if SVG was experiencing a drought.

  8. The Lord God said unto Pharoah
    let my people Go
    Pharoah was stubborn and God sent plagues and drought upon the land
    Not my words
    saith said the Lord

  9. This post is really grabbing at straws and devoid of provable facts

    Where is the definitive science linking the assertion of drilling to Caribbean volcanic eruptions?
    How do you explain the eruption in 1902? No drilling
    How do you explain Pelee in 1902? No drilling
    How do you explain Kick Em Jenny from 1939? No drilling
    How do you explain airlines happily flying to Iceland where volcanoes erupt often…as recently as 2010 or the Philippines or Indonesia. After your assertion that airlines would not fly to AIA if there was an eruption before completion?

    More like bending words to fit an agenda as there is no substance

  10. With all the destruction and mass devastation
    Ralphie tells public servants to come to work
    For the Lord thy God will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third or fourth generation

  11. Are u aware that the conditions presently are hazardous and dangerous and govt taking controls of people lives in the most dangerous manner is applalling

    For whatsoever He sow he shall reap in like manner as darkness covers the earth

  12. Bajeabroad, you are talking twaddle

    The eruption of a volcano on St Vincent has forced airport closures and flight cancellations in the eastern Caribbean. … Barbados is 190km (118mi) east of St Vincent. St Vincent’s Argyle international airport in the south of the island has been closed since 9 April after the first eruption earlier that day.7 hours ago

    Volcanic ash grounds east Caribbean flights – Argus Media › Home › News

  13. Bajeabroad, the Lord gave you the intelligence to research before you mouth off

    Eyjafjallajokull volcano
    In 2010, an eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere, interrupting air travel between Europe and North America because of concerns the material could damage jet engines. More than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding millions of passengers.Mar 20, 2021

    Eruption of Iceland volcano easing, not affecting flights › Earth › Environment

  14. Angela Cox, how will people get to work, the roads are covered in 6 inches of ash and there is drifting in places, cars are grinding to a halt as ash blocks their air filters. There are no buses, no public transport. The reason they must turn upfor work is because when they do not their wages will be stopped. You have to understand the evil emanating from the regime, from the man.

    The power is out nation-wide due to cables breaking under the weight of ash. Tree branches breaking off and causing road blockages. The water supply has failed and is now polluted beyond usage. And you have to go to work and leave your loved ones shaking in terror at home, really?

    This is the same man who told parliament “I sometimes work Obeah, but I only work Obeah for the Lord” that cannot be God it has to be Satan who he was referring to, because no one can work Obeah for God.

    • The blogmaster listened to Gonsalves morning show and the deputy PM reported on the conditions in certain parts of the country. He was driving around to do so. Also Gonsales was clear to say those who can make it to work. It is obviously a difficult situation but the country must try to function.

  15. DavidApril 12, 2021 10:01 PM

    The blogmaster listened to Gonsalves morning show and the deputy PM reported on the conditions in certain parts of the country. He was driving around to do so. Also Gonsales was clear to say those who can make it to work. It is obviously a difficult situation but the country must try to function.

    Ralphie got to be possessed by a demonic spirit to be asking or suggesting people to leave their homes and travelled on dangerous highways
    Here in Barbados where our country is 100 miles away from the volcano the effects are dangerous and caution is being asked of people
    St. Vincent is even worse but the demonic spirit in Ralph encourages Ralph to speak an act of evil against his people out of desperation
    Ralphie is in dire need of a spiritual awakening

  16. @Artax. Right on. His hatred for Gonsalves is such, that even this tragic affair is fair political game. Talk about mental health. He really needs to check himself. I am not even a fan of the comrade. I personally think he should have left politics after his third term. However, I also believe when a man is down, you don’t take advantage of his predicament.Then again, as Pandy once said that politics comes with its own set of morality.

  17. Think I will listen to foreign media.

    I know the foreign news is often shallow, biased and supporting foreign interests, but the news of the ‘locAl group’ appears even worse plus confusing .

  18. Here is what happened in 1812, not at all dissimilar, but sounds alot worse.

    “According to Kingsley, the 1812 eruption could be heard as far away as Caracas to the west, a distance of about 380 miles. But it was on the island of Barbados, where my father lives, that I will concentrate my focus here. The day after the eruption became known as “Black Sunday” because of the ash cloud which engulfed the island, completely blocking out the sun.

    On Barbados the Saturday before, “a heavy cannonading had been heard to the eastward. The English and French fleets were surely engaged. The soldiers were called out; the batteries manned; but the cannonade died away, and all went to bed in wonder. On the 1st of May the clocks struck six; but the sun did not, as usual in the tropics, answer the call. The darkness was still intense, and grew more intense as the morning wore on. A slow and silent rain of impalpable dust was falling over the whole island. The negros rushed shrieking into the streets. Surely the last day was come. The white folk caught (and little blame to them) the panic; and some began to pray who had not prayed for years. The pious and the educated (and they were plenty of both in Barbados) were not proof against the infection. Old letters describe the scene in the churches that morning as hideous-prayers, sobs, cries, in Stygian darkness from trembling crowds. And still the darkness continued, and the dust fell.”

    One man writes that when he tried to get out of his house on the east coast, he could not find the trees on his own lawn, save by feeling for their stems. He stood amazed not only at the darkness, but in utter silence. For the trade winds had fallen dead; the everlasting roar of the surf had gone; and the only noise was the crashing of branches, snapped by the weight of the clammy dust. He went in again and waited. About one o’clock the veil began to lift; a lurid sunlight started in from the horizon; but all was black overhead. Gradually the dust cloud drifted away; the island saw the sun once more; and saw itself inches deep in black, and in this case fertile dust. The trade winds blew suddenly once more out of the clear east, and the surf roared again along the shore.”

  19. Is the volcanic ash now a reason for us to diversify from solar / cut back on the targets?

    Hmmm. Drill baby drill?

  20. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a type of lung disease that is caused by inhaling very fine volcanic ash and sand dust also BBD will become a no fly zone as it messes ups planes

  21. John2April 13, 2021 10:45 AM

    Is the volcanic ash now a reason for us to diversify from solar / cut back on the targets?

    Hmmm. Drill baby drill?


    Night time has the same effect!!

    Someone has money to move!!

  22. If Argyle Int’l Airport was located in the volcanic red or orange zones, I could understand the concern. But it is located as far south as the previous airport. So I do not understand the argument.

  23. Nextparty246, it is no where near the old airport which is at the farthest point possible from the volcano.

    All of SVG is currently under ash, aircraft cannot fly. They built a new modern healthcare facility at Georgetown, Both the airport and the medical facility were build by the Cubans, both were 4 year projects, one took 8 years to build the other nine years. The old airport could have been extended out into the sea, but it was not close enough to the comrades people who needed work. Let there be no doubts everything built in SVG serves a political purpose. He was warned about building a major medical unit at Georgetown, the regime knew that the volcano was due to blow before the built it. Dozens of letters were published at the time it was being considered from people pointing out the folly of building next to a sleeping volcano.

    You cannot make wrong right regardless of what you say. The man is a certifiable jerk.

  24. DavidApril 12, 2021 8:20 PM You are aware the volcano maybe active for weeks and months to come? Life must continue.

    Fair point. However, continue in what manner? People should not breathe that dust, as others have said. That will cause lung damage.

    Mechanics and electronics will also be destroyed by the dust and acid in it.

    One major difference is that in 1902 the financial infrastructure in these islands would have been far different. Much less people dependent on getting that monthly paycheck into the banks. Yes, they had to eat, but they did not have huge loans to repay.

    There is no doubt that the financial infrastructure is going to take a massive blow from the volcano, both in St.Vincent and if prolonged, Barbados too.

    One can say without fear of contradiction that St.Vincent urgently needs international assistance.

    Can we also say, that those countries who rush to support ‘democracy’ in far flung places, will also rush in to assist a small island, in this time of need? Especially as the need is great for the island(s), but paltry in comparison to the military and financial assistance that is thrown elsewhere?

    Surely we can say that without fear of contradiction? After all, we put our trust totally in their hands.

    • @Crusoe

      The point is that we have to trust the scientist and decision makers. St. Vincent has navigated 1902 and 1979, the science in 2021 is improved. There is also the Montserrat experience in the region to draw from.

  25. John2April 13, 2021 10:45 AM Is the volcanic ash now a reason for us to diversify from solar / cut back on the targets?Hmmm. Drill baby drill?

    While the move to solar is an essential and obvious direction, until nuclear fusion energy is properly captured and packaged in reasonably small batteries, oil will be essential in some manner or means.

    One wonders why Barbados ever let the Mobil refinery equipment be removed? All like now, we could be processing oil.

  26. Well…. while one blogger moans and groans most Bajans grit their teeth, thank God for life and go about their daily business without unreasonable complaints.

    Everybody I met, mostly strangers at the supermarket and hardware store are offering helpful tips for clean up. One man walked the aisles to bring me the type of broom he is using.

    The man who sprayed me in ash yesterday drove by slowly this morning as I swept the patio. I shouted my thanks just as I shouted my anger yesterday.

    People are keeping their fear under control and carrying on in cheerful mood. All my interactions yesterday with workers and customers were pleasant.

    Just saw a lady pass my house at 4.30 a.m. Shouted ” Who is that roaming at this hour of the mornin?”

    “I’m going to work!” she replied cheerily.

    “Where you working?” I called nosily.

    “At the hospital,” came the reply. She could have answered differently or not at all.

    But when the chips are down most Bajans are good people!

    Most Bajans are stoic people. That is good when there is nothing that can be done but bad when there is a need to fight the system.

  27. “The planet is more connected than it appears, and an event that happened more than 6,000 kilometres away is likely to make an impression on Spain in the coming days.

    The La Soufrière volcano on the island of San Vicente, in the Caribbean, erupted on 9 April and the cloud of ash and gases has made its way across the Atlantic and is approaching the Canary Islands first and, in the following days, the south of the Spanish mainland.

    Spain’s national weather agency, Aemet, is monitoring the phenomenon, although it is unlikely to affect the general public as it is moving at a high altitude, between 3,000 and 5,000 metres.

    José María Sánchez-Laulhé, director of the Aemet Meteorological Centre in Malaga, said everything indicates the impact is likely to be mild for air traffic and very low for the general public.

    The path of the volcanic ash cloud. / SUR

    The arrival of the ash cloud is expected on Wednesday and Thursday and will, likely, coincide with rain. It is possible that it will become noticeable with a change in the colours of the sky at dawn, “like a candle”, says José Luis Escudero, a weather expert in Malaga and author of the SUR blog Tormentas y Rayos.”

  28. Ártax, you are right if there was a drought and crops failed in SVG I would blame Gonsalves, he would be 99% at fault for crop failure.

    Before Gonsalves was elected the EU paid for and installed a comprehensive irrigation system with large bore piped water all over the islands most at risk from a drought farmland. There was a battalion of irrigation workers as part of the scheme maintaining the system. When Gonsalves was elected he stopped paying the irrigation workers wages and they sat in a yard for six months unworked on his instructions, starved out of existence. They finally went home unpaid. There was plenty written in the press about it at the time, it was among the first of Gonsalves follies. That was 9 years ago, since then the irrigation system has disappeared completely. So now each time there is drought like weather during the dry season nothing grows and all crops fail. Gonsalves is not responsible for drought weather but he is responsible for the effects which now go unchallenged in SVG.

    The comments may be more relevant than the article.

    What an absolutely dreadful man, and still people try and make the things that are wrong appear to be right.

  29. Thank goodness Barbados will provide security, but what does that mean, we have an over large police force so why do we need the army from T&T and police from Barbados?

  30. Gonsalves claims to be in charge of every square inch in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He claims he is responsible for every ministry and everything that happens. He has from day one been the spokesman for every ministry, he speaks on behalf of just about every government ministry. Except perhaps for baby doc’s ministries, his son. His son has been allowed privileged leapfrogging over every other young Vincentian politician, groomed for takeover of the ULP and the dynasty.

    When things go right he claims the glory, when they go wrong he blames others.

  31. The man has become drunken with power
    Now he treats the people as if he owns them
    Using Covid vaccine as a chip holding over the people heads in a time when the people survival demands a place of refuge
    The man is demonic
    Only demons used trickery in the worst kind and possible way with threats to coerce
    Hope during this time peoples eyes would awaken to the kind of tin horn dictator he is

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