Krakatoa kräkätouˈ [key], volcanic island, c.5 sq mi (13 sq km), W Indonesia, in Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra; rising to 2,667 ft (813 m). A momentous volcanic explosion on Aug. 23, 1883, blew up most of the island, destroying two of the three volcanoes that had coalesced to form it, and also altered the configuration of the strait. The accompanying pyroclastic flows and tsunami caused great destruction and the loss of more than 36,000 lives along the nearby coasts of Java and Sumatra. The explosion is classed as one of the largest volcanic eruptions in modern times; debris was scattered across the Indian Ocean as far as Madagascar, and several islands were formed temporarily near Krakatoa. Krakatoa itself was formed in the aftermath of an earlier eruption that created the nearby islands of Verlaten, or Sertung, and Lang, or Panjang. Since 1927 Anak Krakatau [Bahasa Indonesia,=child of Krakatau], an island and volcano, c.360 ft (110 m), has gradually risen from the sea in the caldera formed by the 1883 eruption. The new volcano has had many frequent lesser eruptions. Much of the island collapsed during an eruption in 2018, causing a devastating tsunami that killed several hundred people in nearby Java and Sumatra.

See S. Winchester, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded (2003).

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