Remembering the Mighty Blast from the Past

Remembering the Mighty Blast from the Past
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By Ahmad Cholis Hamzah

Krakatau Mountain is located in Sunda strait between Java Island and Sumatra Island of Indonesia. It is a volcanic Mountain and has attracted people around the globe. The American Nature Magazine in 1946 wrote that when people in the world awed by the mighty blast of Atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. However, there was an explosion that was incomparably greater.

Krakatau Mountain blew up, on August 27, 1883, the whole world knew about it. The noise was head around 3,000 miles away; and the great waves of the explosion caused in the area reached the shores of four continents and were recorded 8,000 miles away. In addition, an air wave generated by the explosion traveled clear around the world, not only once but several times.

The Magazine also noted that the red-hot debris covered an area larger than France, to a depth of sometimes 100 feet on land. For nearly the year afterward the dust of the blast, blown upward for 30 miles, filled the high atmosphere over almost the whole globe. Even though there were no large towns within 100 miles of the volcano, approximately 36,000 people lost their lives.

The Magazine also wrote that the mighty explosion awed the sailors of the British Ship Charles Bal, who saw the Island shoot up over the horizon, “shaped like a pine tree brilliantly illuminated by electric flashes”. The sea was covered with innumerable fish, floating belly-up on the churning water. Long afterward came the noise- the loudest ever heard by human ears. “The concussions were deafening” wrote Lloyd’s agent in Batavia – the old name of Jakarta during Dutch colonial era.

In 1928, deep down under its rocky foundation a pocket of lava was seeing outlet for its energies. It broke the surface and showed its top, a flat ugly Island. Indigenous people called this new volcano “Anak Krakatau” or “Child of Krakatau”. Now many tourists from over the world could visit this Mountain Child from Jakarta the capital city of Indonesia. From Jakarta people could take ferry to Bandar Lampung of Sumatra Island, and take a boat to the Mountain.

By Ahmad Cholis Hamzah, alumni of University of London and Airlangga University Surabaya. Now is a lecturer of PERBANAS (Banking College) in Surabaya.

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