Never thought of an eruption lately! Here’s the biggest BOOM of the year. KRAKATOA volcano in Indonesia has exploded, shooting an ash column some 13 km high into the air in the shocking eruption.
The eruption of Krakatoa, or Krakatau, in August 1883 was one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions of modern history. It is estimated that more than 36,000 people died. Many died as a result of thermal injury from the blasts and many more were victims of the tsunamis that followed the collapse of the volcano into the caldera below sea level. The eruption also affected the climate and caused temperatures to drop all over the world.
Indonesia’s Krakatoa volcano has erupted twice, sending huge plumes of smoke, lava and ash into the air.The Centre for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) reported the first eruption lasted one minute and 12 seconds starting at 9.58pm on Friday night, with the second one at 10.35pm.
Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, which is located about 100 miles away, reportedly heard ‘loud thunder-like sounds’ after the eruptions. Reports say ‘thick ash’ started to drop from the sky after the explosion, which is believed to be the biggest since the partial collapse of the volcano in December 2018.
The initial explosion ruptured the magma chamber and allowed seawater to contact the hot lava. The result is known as a phreatomagmatic event. The water flash-boiled, creating a cushion of superheated steam that carried the pyroclastic flows up to 25 miles (40 km) at speeds in excess of 62 mph (100 kph).
The eruption has been assigned a rating of 6 on the Volcanic Explosion Index and is estimated to have had the explosive force of 200 megatons of TNT. (For purposes of comparison, the bomb that devastated Hiroshima had a force of 20 kilotons, nearly ten thousand times less explosive as the Krakatoa eruption. The Krakatoa eruption was about ten times more explosive than the Mount St. Helens explosion of 1980 with a VEI of 5.)
The explosions hurled an estimated 11 cubic miles (45 cubic km) of debris into the atmosphere, darkening skies up to 275 miles (442 km) from the volcano. In the immediate vicinity, the dawn did not return for three days. Ash fell as far away as 3,775 miles (6,076 km) landing on ships to the northwest.
Barographs around the globe documented that the shock waves in the atmosphere circled the planet at least seven times. Within 13 days, a layer of sulphur dioxide and other gases began to filter the amount of sunlight able to reach Earth. The atmospheric effects made for spectacular sunsets all over Europe and the United States. Average global temperatures will be as much as 1.2 degrees cooler for the next five years.