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Krakatau: Volcanic Island of Indonesia

Often called by its Portuguese name Krakatoa, Krakatau is a volcanic island in Indonesia located in Sunda Strait in the middle of Sumatra and Java. Krakatau Indonesia administratively belongs to the province of Lampung, and has been famous in history since the sixteenth century.

Anciently, it was projected to have had a height of two-thousand meters and a nine-kilometer radius but after the pre-historic great eruption in 416, probably forming the seven-kilometer-wide caldera, as well as its ancestral volcanic remnants being preserved in Lang Islands and Verlaten. Afterwards, three volcanoes were formed namely Danan, Perbuwatan, and Rakata, uniting to form the pre-1883 Krakatau Island.

Krakatau is the name used for the group of islands, including Rakata, which is the main island, and the Krakatau Volcano as whole. Krakatau Indonesia has suffered repeated and massive eruptions that have had disastrous results all throughout history. The second biggest known eruption happened on the 26th and 27th of August 1883, culminated through a series of enormous explosions.

The 1883 volcanic eruption of Krakatau Indonesia ejected over twenty-five cubic kilometers of ash, pumice, and rock, as well as generating the loudest noise ever reported in history; the cataclysmic bang was markedly heard as far as Perth in Australia, and an island near Mauritius called Rodrigues. The caldera collapsed destroying Perbuwatan and Danan volcanoes and leaving only a relic of Rakata Volcano; it also claimed the lives of over thirty-six-thousand people, the majority of fatalities an outcome of the devastating tsunamis which swept neighboring coastlines of java and Sumatra.

Before the eruption in 1883, Krakatau was made up of three main islands, namely Verlaten now called Sertung, Lang now called Rakata or Panjang, and Krakatau itself. Due to the massive amount of material deposit by the volcanic eruption, the surrounding floor of the ocean was considerably altered, largely filling the thirty to forty-meter deep basin around Krakatau with ignimbrite. Lang and Verlaten's land masses were also increased, and volcanic ash has become a great part of the islands' geological composition.

After resting for forty-four years, on December 1927, another volcanic island appeared and was named Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatau). Today, Krakatau Indonesia continues to be disturbed with occasional earthquakes, including eruptive episodes that started in 1994 and reports of Anak Krakatau having an increased volcanic activity that had flows of fresh lava which added to the area of the island in 2005.

The islands of Krakatau Indonesia still continues to be a main case study of founder populations and island biogeography, as well as being carefully watched to prevent future devastating and life-claiming disasters.

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