In the summer of 2009 the sky in Indonesia glowed an ominous orange as Anak Krakatau put on the latest of its fiery displays. Rising 1,200 feet from the waters of the Sunda Straight between the islands of Java and Sumatra, this volcano may be young – it is less than 100 years old – but it comes from legendary stock.
The fifth largest volcanic explosion in history happened in August 1883 when the volcano Krakatau exploded catastrophically. The explosions stretched over two days and triggered enormous tsunamis that obliterated 165 villages and towns and killed 36,000 people officially. Unofficially it may have been many more, as the official colonial Dutch records have been questioned in the years since.