Mount Anak Krakatoa in Indonesia violently erupted on Tuesday. So far, there are no injuries reported, but the volcano is on the second-highest alert status, and authorities have imposed a 3.1 mile (5km) exclusion zone around the area.
According to the Centre for Volcanology and Geologic Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), the volcano erupted four times and blasted ash 8,250 feet (2,500m) into the sky. Indonesia’s infamous Krakatoa erupts regularly and caused the devastating 2018 Sunda Strait tsunami.
Mount Anak Krakatoa
The name Anak Krakatoa translates as the child of Krakatoa. The volcano formed after the Mount Krakatoa eruption in 1883, but scientists didn’t discover it until 1927. Anak Krakatoa is in the strait separating Sumatra and Java and has a history of sporadic eruptions since it appeared.
On Wednesday, the volcano continued spewing ash with clouds up to 1950 feet (600m) high. Luckily, the volcano isn’t close to densely populated areas but is close to a shipping line connecting the islands.
The Deadly 1883 Eruption
Mount Krakatoa violently erupted in 1883 and killed around 35,000 people making it one of the deadliest blasts in history. The sound it created measured an incredible 310 decibels – the loudest ever recorded. People heard the explosion 4,800 miles (7,700km) away – as far as Australia.
The devastating tsunami caused by the eruption was responsible for most of the fatalities. According to The Natural History Museum, the ash from the blast darkened the skies for months and caused global climate change, reducing temperatures by 0.6C (33F).
Mount Anak Krakatoa reached the headlines in December 2018 when part of its crater collapsed during an eruption. The debris from the blast crashed into the sea and caused a devastating tsunami that killed over 400 people, injured more than 140,000, and displaced another 40,000.
The Sunda Strait tsunami of Southeast Asia heavily affected the coasts of Java and Sumatra. The volcano lost two-thirds of its volume, and the height above sea level fell from 1109 feet (338m) to 360 feet (110m).
The volcano erupted again in April 2020 with no serious consequences. However, people heard the blast over 93 miles (150km) away in Jakarta, the capital. Anak Krakatoa erupted 21 times in the first four months of 2022, with the largest in April. It also erupted in January this year.
The Pacific Ring Of Fire
Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire – which is known as the Circum-Pacific Belt. According to National Geographic, it has around 130 active volcanoes. The circum-pacific belt is 24,900 miles (40,000km) long, 310 miles (500km) wide, and covers 15 countries.
Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur across the ring of fire because it has a high density of continental plates. The area experiences around 7,000 tremors annually – 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes. It’s also home to The Mariana Trench – the deepest spot on the planet.
Indonesia made the headlines again recently when they announced they would move the capital from Jakarta to Borneo. You can find out more about the story in this article we wrote about it.