Review Buku Krakatau Ketika Dunia Meledak (English)

Book             : KRAKATAU, Ketika Dunia Meledak 27 Agustus 1883

Author           : Simon Winchester.

Publisher       : Serambi Ilmu Semesta

Year              : 2006

Resumed by   : Desie A. Sari

krakatau book cover


1883 is the historical year recorded on the earth. A mountain in the Sunda strain, awakened from its beautiful sleep. Not many people realize the signs of the mountain that are sick, and rise up all his stomach contents. There were a lot of victims in that year and leave enough memory for the knowledge and history of mankind on earth.

For what is happening on the mountain lives, which was very scary, geology reality, seismic reality, and reality of Java and Sumatra tectonic, all will ensure that the strange what happens on the first explosion in 1883 will be repeated again, and in a way that will exactly the same.

Nature Signs Before and After the Explosion of Krakatau

Four months before the disaster, in the land of South Africa, on first winter, people notice the sunset very bright and beautiful. Then slowly increased from February to June.

January-February 1883:

  • Heavy rain in Batavia
  • Floods in some deepest part of Batavia
  • The weather become very hot when it’s not rain

January-May 1883:

  • Observatory in Batavia recorded only 14 earthquakes (4 in East Java and 7 in Sumatra)
  • Seems that this year feel so calm and people not realize with the situation

May 10th 1883:

  • The lighthouse guards feel: Vibration on the Air!
  • The lighthouse shifted from its foundation. Sea turn off, as a frozen moment, looks like a fine plat glass, a little shaking than queasy.

Note: now we know that sea water can be frozen by the type of bomb explosion deep charge

  • Vibration also felt in West Java

May 20th 1883:

  • Air vibration stronger, wider and longer (lasts about 1 hour).Note: Vibration earthquake occurred only a matter of seconds, the longest is few


  • The vibration felt in West Java and Sumatra
  • Netherlands Controller reported:

The vibration felt strong in the northern Sumatra coast and the western Sunda

  • Ship Elizabeth (Germany covette) were sail to the Sunda strain.The captain reported:Cumulus a white cloud rising quickly from nearly vertical island. Half an hour to reach an altitude of 11,000 m. And spread like an umbrella. In the afternoon, wind blow from south-southeast bring smooth dust and increasing the amount faster. The entire ship is a fine gray dust.
  • Priest Heims in Germany report on the ship:At night they did not hear any explosion. But next day the ship just like a floating cement factory. All ship were gray covered by dust which sticky and thick. The rainy gray sky, the sun such as the pale light blue.
  • Ship Zeeland, the distance was 5 miles from Krakatau report:
  • The compass needle swing anywhere. When the needle calm again, showing the deviation from the normal 12 degrees. Steam and debris roar from the top mountain. Audible sounds like heavy artillery and fire engines deafen the ear. Giant black smoke rose quickly with the flash and the thunder cloud. Sea around the island bursts of large water-spout. The air became dark.
  • 10:55 WIT, A house near with Magnetic Observatory Meteorology and Dutch East Indies. Plates fell from kitchen set and broken in to pieces. From west the voice like cannon shot.
  • fisherman who is in the Krakatau island heard the  explosion of gun 2 times and then see the coast split open. Spurt of black ash and hot stones flew like sky rocket. They were running scared. Volume of sea water increased dramatically.
  • Voices sound strange in Singapore (500 miles from the North).
  • Forbes, a collector working in the plant in Timor (1,300 miles from Krakatau) reported the rain of ashes.

May 22, 1883

  • Island became calm, only white smoke and steam float above the crater.
  • After the initial opening, a Dutch team report the Krakatau newest situation : The tropical forest vanished. Smoke rising up to 1200 m, widen and increase up to 3000 m. Than fade and the gray color blew by the wind than form the background of the painting.
  • 8 weeks later the atmosphere returns to calm just like nothing happens

Distribution of news Krakatau – May 1883

Agent Schuit telegram from Anyer to London on May 23, at 3 am, using two different kinds of equipment that has just been created: electric telegraph and telegraph under the sea. Received at the central office of Lloyd’s 10 o’clock at night. Then sent to The Times published May 24. Thanks to the all parties involved: Samuel Morse, the director of the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company; Eastern Telegraph Company, the Board of Commissioners of Lloyd’s, and a Reuter correspondent who enthusiastically in Anyer, Batavia and London, the incredible story that can be presented.

August 1, 1883

  • A Captain AD Netherlands to the island to conduct the survey, topographic map of the military and make the island. August 2, he left the island. And he became the last person who step his foot before the biggest Krakatau eruption.

Mid of August 1883

  • a small elephant in a circus great rage. No one realized it.

Krakatau Eruption

August 27th 1883

99 days of the previous eruption, the second plate tectonic which met on the island of Java was slowly but steadily and strikingly, four-inch per year, then the peak occurs at this time!

  • 10:02 am, Krakatau erupt.

The sea very strong move up and down , with very strong, dangerously

In a moment Anyer covered by dust cloud and very dark. Clouds keep changing the color, from white (when consisting of steam evaporate) to black (from smoke eruption). The sky in Anyer like at night.

  • A report from Batavia, swish sound very loud. Other reports say ‘rain of stone float’, ‘rain of rough dust’, ‘boats scattered and uncontrollable’.
  • The English ship Madea, in afternoon report that smoke rising up to 17 miles. Every few minutes the explosion shaking the ship, the ship was about 80 miles from the eruption place.
  • Gasometer, pressure meter factory gas in Batavia provide a remarkable accuracy record, minutes after minutes. There was a bump up to 2.5 inch mercury in the air.
  • 5 pm.Dark atmosphere of the entire coastal Java.. Air entering the lungs dirty, hot, full of sulfur, toxic, making people lose their orientation and confused.
  • A report from Ship Captain Charles Bal, his ship was between the big mountains of Sumatra and the islands sunda strain.

1:30 pm: clouds explode from the north east at high speed.

3:30 pm: sounds like a strong shot, such as heavy artillery with intervals of one or two seconds.

5.00 pm: the explosion still happened. Darkness spread across the sky and the float stone rain the land. All in a big size and feel hot. Crewman wear boots and hats sou’westers (waterproof hat that is used by sailor).

7 pm: horrifying. Distance of look is zero. Heavy sand and stone made blindsight. Sometime lightning and explosion.

11 pm: the island is visible. The fire up and down between the mountains with the sky above. Meanwhile, in the southwest white fire-ball roll without stops. Combining with the heat and smell sulfur coals and sprinkle iron.

Midnight – 4 am: darkness still continue. The eruption increasing hardly. In a moment the sky black, but in the next second the the sky bright because lightning. Fire touched the fire mast.

6 AM, we can see the coast of Java.

10:15 am we go through Buttin Island, half to three-quarters of a mile away, sea just like glass and the weather looks better, with no rain of ash.

11:15 another eruption again from Krakatau. We are 30 miles away. A strike wave hit Button Island and wipe out the south.

11:30 – 1:30 pm: darkness covered everywhere. We’re being caught in the mud rain, sand, and somehow all more. At noon darkness make everything can’t be seen, we had to touch the deck to walk, even while we facing, we still can’t see our face one another. The mud rain ruins until 1:30 pm.

Day 2: we can look to a few yard to the front. The mud rain just stop.

5 pm: northern and western horizon was open, we can see the West Island in the northeast vaguely.

Middle of the night: the sky dark and heavy. Sometimes a little sand rain. Thundering volcanoes that still heard in the distance even though we are 75 miles away from there.

  • A report from the ship, their barometer so low and all chronometer mysteriously stuck.
  • At 6 pm the cable that connects to the Batavia- Anyer became drop out.
  • Catholic friar Julian Tenison Woods write a letter about various events to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:Last moments of Krakatau during 20 hours 56 minutes marked with a number of phases. First, Sunday noon until 7 pm a bunch of explosion occurred, athe explosion frequency and the strength increases. In the afternoon there were ash rain and float stones. Start at 8pm sea water became the next transmission medium energy volcanic, and late night, the sea in the Sunda strait so uncontrollable.Before midnight, a series of air waves, the low vibration frequency moved quickly in plain view  eyes and transmitted to reach Batavia. Port of Batavia, the Astrology clock was stop clicking for 18 seconds after 11:32 pm due to vibrations. Reports from Singapore and Penang that sounds of eruption can be heard at the same time. Batavia, a large number of people awake because of the explosion. Gas lamp in Koningsplein suddenly dimmed at 1:55 am. Throughout Rijswijk, the main shopping street, several windows are broken suddenly and mysteriously stop at the same time.
  • Krakatau explode 4 times: 5:30 am, 6:15 am, 6:44 am and 10:02 am the biggest eruption.
  • Reports of a British consul in Batavia:Some of the island of Krakatau, that is the Temposa island and small islands in the Sunda strait disappeared. There were new shelf reefs among the island of Krakatau and Sibesi island, routes that were usually passed by ships. An island at the entrance to the north it was reported broken into five sections, while the many small islands appear, the first did not exist.Damage caused by wave on the beach (tsunami), human lives and property can’t be determined with certainty, because the sea is still be wavy and rain is still continued. Fan telegraph communication is lost or disrupted.The entire southeast coast of Sumatra had severe damage due to tsunami.Thousands of indigenous people in coastal area have disappeared.The west Java coast from Merak until Tjeringin were flat with the ground.Anyer, port which ships sail to Java sea and the Sea of China stop waiting for the command, and that was a bussy city with thousands of people, has disappeared. Location turn became swamp. Lighthouse at Anyer (Fourth Point Java) hard damage.Many people, including officials and European people died drowned. In the coastal district of southeastern Java Tjeringin were died 10,000 people.Due to rain ashes that cover the entire area, no animals get food as usual and human also in the same condition. People lost their fruit trees and coconut which is the source of their wealth. While coffee and tea plantation on severe damage.
  • A giant wave hit than leave Krakatau exactly 10:00 am and two minutes later all the instruments in the world that record, the largest explosion could be thousands of miles away, and until now still the loudest sound of the explosion was recorded in the modern human life. Cloud of gas, hot white floating stones, fire and smoke throwing to the sky like a large cannon up to 24 miles.
  • Some people survive amazingly.A man asleep in his house and wake up when the wave has brought him and his bed to the top of a hill and put them safely. Another man hold on on a cow and both survive in a place to after floating in higher land. Which is difficult to believe, a mandraggingto the land with a crocodile. He ride the crocodile and his finger-stick closely to the eye of the crocodile!

The Effects

  • Tsunami

After the Krakatau eruption, 165 villages destroyed, 36,412 people died and thousands of people had injury. Almost all of them, the villages is not direct victims of the eruption, but the effects explosion, that is the tsunami waves. So please note: not a fire or gas or the flow of lava that killed most of the victims of Krakatau. Except that in 1000 people in Sumatra burned by hot ash and floating stone, and gases that make their skin exfoliate.

Tsunami takes 37 minutes to reach Anyer. 15 minutes later reach Merak.

The tsunami that killed many people in Java and Sumatra than move to other part of the world. Tsunami move to the English Channel, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Davenport; Aden, Karachi, Bombay, Calcuta; English Hooghly River; Ceylon, Panama Hambatota; Port Louis, Mauritius’ east coast Affrika South, Cape Town, South Georgia, South Pole; Socoa France, Charente, Bordeaux.

  • Sound of Krakatau explosion

Sounds heard in Mauritius, Rodrigues which is 2968 miles from Krakatau. Other places that heard the explosion of Krakatau in Philadelphia, New York, West Virginia, San Francisco, Saigon, Bangkok, Manila, Perth, Darwin, Ceylon, New Guinea, Western Australia, Aceh, the Caribbean. In Singapore, all telephone, can’t clearly hear the sound, just like a roaring waterfall. A large number of people in Batavia, Buitenzorg and West Java in did’t hear anything. They are deaf without a clear reason or buzz in the ear or feel the air pressure change, as if they were trapped in a silent hypertension atmosphere.

Barograf recorded the variation atmosphere pressure. August 27th recorded  high jump to the top and bottom and very unexpected. It seems the weather is being cough. Something seems impossible that is earthquake in the air.

The experts has examined that the shock waves from the Krakatau eruption appeared and  have been traveling around the world, up to 7 times! And take up to 15 days after the explosion. This waves bounce forward and rewind to all corners of the planet with a remarkable proportion of the size of the original event itself.

  • Temperature Batavia temperature was the cold frozen. Thick clouds hang on the sky for a few days and then wrap the city and surrounding area with a radius of 15 miles gray, where the sun can’t reach the land.

Research has revealed a declining in temperature in the world, on average of one degree Fahrenheit since the Krakatau eruption.

  • Art

Art was born from the effects of volcanoes. This art is very unexpected. Millions tons of dust jump to the sky on the East Indies and spread all over the world for many years and create all kinds of phenomena. Just like heaven beautiful sunset, formed a rainbow variety colors that decorate the sky. This make a large number of painters who suddenly become so enthusiastic. Among the painters artist are: Frederic Edwin Church 19th century American painter and William Ascroft who live along the river Thames who create 533 paintings for a few months.

The poets also inspired. Tennyson string unforgettable poems namely St. Telemachus.

There is beautiful scenery in the sky Bishop’s Rings, Honolulu, Santiago Chile, Gulf of Mexico, Nashville, Buenos Aires, Canary Islands, Shanghai, Tasmania, South Africa, Chile, South West Canada, California, England, Denmark, Turkey, Russia and Siberia . This scene completely disappeared early in 1886.


sea water determine in this eruption process. It lubricate the movement of plates and help subduction continued, even the amount was not so large, it lowering the temperature where rocklike coat begin to melt the earth.

Krakatau is still there and will behave more and in the moment not too long. Processes that lead to the 1883 incident can’t be stopped. There subduction with monumental proportions in the southern and eastern Sumatra. Uniquely located in the zone around the islands and down a small stand on the hinge between Sumatra and Java. Island is covered by a volatile sea, which will bring disaster if it was to go one mile distance of boiling magma. The island itself surrounded by small fault-fracture zones and weak that countless in number, also by the basic component of rock, acid rock, rock sedimentary that wriggle and bend-spin all the way to the pressure of the most prominent place on earth. Not surprisingly, if there is only one Krakatau. So people do not want to imagine that the world is not have enough room for a dozen other similar mountains.

Colonization resistance

There was a variety of rebellion as a way to Indonesia independence, the beginning of the end of the Dutch government. Islam encourages people to Banten brutal war in 1888, later evolved into a revolutionary organizational structure for the future. Indonesian past and now still dominated with Muslims in Java and Sumatra, and now more aggressive rather in the past.

The Krakatau eruption helped to trigger a political and religious movement in West Java and leave memories to the Dutch government.

* * *

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