INGEOMINAS reported an explosive eruption from Galeras that began at 1555 on 13 March; the Alert Level was raised from II (Orange; “probable eruption in term of days or weeks”) to I (Red; “imminent eruption or in progress”), on a scale of 4-1. Inclement weather prevented direct observations of the volcano. The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) indicated that a plume rose to an altitude of 12.3 km (40,400 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. The eruption produced sounds heard in areas 10 km E and W. Ashfall was reported in multiple areas E and NW; a sulfur odor was also reported in some areas. On 14 March, gas plumes with some ash content rose to an altitude of 6.3 km (20,700 ft) a.s.l. The Alert Level was lowered to back to II.
According to news articles, authorities ordered the evacuation of about 8,000 people living in high-risk areas, but few went to evacuation shelters.
Sources: Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería (INGEOMINAS), El Tiempo – “Report provided courtesy of the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.”