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Indonesia » Indonesian Volcanoes » Krakatau Volcano
Krakatau Volcano
by: Editorial Team

The eruption of Krakatau were recorded effectively in 1882 due to the emerging telegraphic system at that time and the fact that it is located in the Sunda strait, the frequently-used shipping lane.

The Krakatau Volcano has a long and seemingly never ending history. It was gathered from ancient Javanese scriptures that in 416 AD a great volcano called Ancient Krakatau in the Sunda strait collapsed, forming a 7 km wide caldera and leaving its remnants in the form of three islands: the Krakatau island, Verlaten island and Lang island. Not long after, three coalesced volcanoes called Perboewatan, Danan and Rakata were formed in the same area. These are the volcanoes forming the island of Krakatau.    

This whole island is the object causing the legendary eruption of 1883. On May 20th 1883 ashes and steams started to rise from its craters, followed by moderate explosions, all of them relatively not taken seriously. In fact, people simply gathered round in a fascination to watch the island’s sights and sounds. Therefore, it must have been a devastating shock indeed when the whole Krakatau island and its entire seabed finally exploded on the morning of August 27th 1883. The explosion was so loud that those in Indian Ocean’s Rodriquez Island, 4.563 Kms away, could hear the bang. The Krakatau’s volcanic dust and gases reached the stratosphere and circled the world in two weeks. The whole Perboewatan and Lang island and half of Rakata Island collapsed into the submarine caldera below and its cavity-filling effect caused tsunamis with prodigious heights that could only be outdone by the 2004 Aceh Tsunami.

Even though the Krakatau island is uninhabited, the disaster’s effects were inescapable for the people surrounding the area. Most of them became victims of the tsunami, the tallest of its waves reaching 40 meters, swallowing up people and surrounding villages. 165 villages were totally destroyed and another 132 damaged. Ships in the Lampung bay, Sumatra, were lifted and thrown away as far as a mile inland.

There were also victims of the pyroglastic flows, which enigmatically traveled in a wondrous speed of over 100 km per hour across the ocean. The flows, their temperature presumably reaching over 700 degrees, were thought to have created a smooth ‘path’ made of steam which was created by flash-boiling the surface of the ocean. The Southern part of Sumatera was known to be the worst part to be hit by these flows. The pyroglastic flows, along with avalanches of fires and rocks, are literally rivers of fire, swallowing up everything in their way. 
The death toll of the 1883 Krakatau Disaster reached up to 36,417. In the aftermath, the world temperature dropped down a few degrees due to a mixture of water and sulfur dioxide in the air which blocked the sunlight. Visual effects in the sky such as halos caused by this additional ‘screen’ were also a common sight for a few years.

In 1927, a new cone inside the 1883 caldera was discovered. The cone is properly named ‘Anak Krakatau’ (child of Krakatau) and its height had been increasing with time. Eruptions of this volcano have been recorded several times. 

About The Author

Editorial Team, Editor

This article is written by Streetdirectory Editorial team. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

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