Friday, 2 July 2010
Volcano of the Week #3 - Krakatoa
Krakatoa is an Indonesian volcanic island, the origin of the name is probably to do with crabs and lobsters (which I know a GREAT joke about, but really it's a visual thing). The name also lends its self to the volcano and group of islands, which includes Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa) which arose in August 1930.
The largest and best known eruption from this volcano, situated in the pacific Ring of Fire was the 1883 eruption (VEI= 6). The climatic phase of the eruption took place on 27 August, it was so large that the effects are said to be have been heard and felt in Australia. The climax consisted of four huge eruptions, each causing large tsunamis. The Burning Ashes of Ketimbang killed around 1000 people in Sumatra. The 3,000 population at the island of Sebesi, 13km from Krakatoa, was completely wiped out; this was due to tsunamis, pyroclastic flows and volcanic ash. Ships in South Africa are said to have been rocked by tsunamis and hit by the bodies of victims. The official death toll is 36,417, however it may be three times as high. The island's size is much reduced following this eruption.
This eruption had wide global effects including a drop in temperatures and a darker sky for years afterwards. Edvard Munch's The Scream is thought to be a reaction to the effects of the volcano which caused red skies instilling a sense of intense fear from the artist.
This is post slightly late, but I have just moved house, should be a new magazine issue in within a few weeks.