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Krakatoa Eruption (1883)

  • By: Lang William
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

On August 26, 1883, the volcanic Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupted with an explosion so devastating it impacted the entire Earth. One of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recorded history, the Krakatoa explosion sent cubic miles of earth into the ocean, creating tsunamis; affected the weather by spewing fine ash into the upper atmosphere; and sent boulders as large as trucks flying through the air.

The eruption was heard more than 3,000 miles away. Because there was little advanced technology to warn of the eruption or alert people to the ash and tsunamis, over 36,000 people died. In the 19th century, most relief efforts were from nearby populations with unorganized aid from major nations delivered by military transportation.

Krakatoa is located in the Sunda Strait, 25 ...

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