Author: Mary Knapp

August 26th marks the anniversary of one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions ever recorded. In 1883 the Krakatoa volcano exploded in Indonesia, between the islands of Java and Sumatra. The explosion was so loud it was heard more than twenty-five hundred miles away. The pressure wave was noted on barographs around the world up to seven times. The eruption triggered tsunamis up to 125 feet high and traveling 300 miles per hour. These waves devastated everything in their path, hurling ashore coral blocks weighing up to 900 tons. More than 36 thousand people were killed by the explosion and the subsequent tsunami. Volcanic ash was carried around the globe in thirteen days. That ash filtered the sunlight and resulted in blue and green suns in the tropics, and then vivid red sunsets in higher altitudes.

Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society (London, Trubner & Co., 1888)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library