Saturday, July 25, 2009


Krakatau, is a volcanic island located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is used for the island group, the main island (also called Rakata), and the volcano as a whole. The best-known eruption of Krakatoa culminated in a series of massive explosions on August 26–27, 1883, which was among the most violent volcanic events in modern and recorded history. The 1883 eruption ejected approximately 21 cubic kilometres (5.0 cu mi) of rock, ash, and pumice.
The cataclysmic explosion was distinctly heard as far away as Perth in Western Australia, about 1,930 miles (3,110 km) away, and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away. Near Krakatoa, according to official records, 165 villages and towns were destroyed and 132 seriously damaged, at least 36,417 (official toll) people died, and many thousands were injured by the eruption, mostly from the tsunamis that followed the explosion. The eruption destroyed two-thirds of the island of Krakatoa.
Indonesia has over 130 active volcanoes, the most of any nation. They make up the axis of the Indonesian island arc system, which was produced by northeastward subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate. A majority of these volcanoes lie along Indonesia's two largest islands, Java and Sumatra. These two islands are separated by the Sunda Straits, which are located at a bend in the axis of the
island arc. Krakatoa is directly above the subduction zone of the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate where the plate boundaries make a sharp change of direction, possibly resulting in an unusually weak crust in the region.

Krakatau Islands, 18 May 1992
Before the 1883 eruption, Krakatoa comprised three main islands: Lang ("long", now called Rakata Kecil or Panjang) and
Verlaten ("forsaken" or "deserted", now Sertung), which were edge remnants of a previous very large caldera-forming eruption; and Krakatoa itself, an island 9 km (5.6 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide. Also there was a tree-covered islet near Lang named Poolsche Hoed ("Polish hat", apparently because it looked like one from the sea) and several small rocks or banks between Krakatoa and Verlaten. There were three volcanic cones on Krakatoa: Rakata, (820 m/2,700 ft) to the south; Danan, (450 m/1,500 ft) to the north; and Perboewatan, (120 m/390 ft) to the north (Danan may have been a twin volcano).

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