Apr 212011
 

Emissions from the 1883 Krakatau eruption generated dramatic sunsets around the world. The colorful skies inspired many sketches and paintings, like this one by England's William Ashcroft.

Emissions from the 1883 Krakatau eruption generated dramatic sunsets around the world. The colorful skies inspired many sketches and paintings, like this one by England's William Ashcroft.

Krakatau (aka Krakatoa), in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait west of Java and east of Sumatra, exploded in August 1883 with 26 times the power of the biggest H-bomb test.  The eruption turned deadly on the afternoon of Aug. 26, with the first explosion coming at 1 p.m. A column of black ash soon rose 17 miles into the sky above the Sunda Strait.

The collapse of the volcano into the sea generated 100-foot tidal waves obliterating hundreds of villages and taking more than 36,000 lives. Much reduced, the sea wave swept past the Cape of Good Hope into the Atlantic Ocean and even caused a measurable ripple in the English Channel.
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