+ krakatoa volcano +
+ book review +
More than 40,000 people perished as a result of the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano in Java nearly 125 years ago. Most of these people were killed as a result of the giant tsunamis it triggered. The blast was so intense that people felt it thousands of miles away. Pumice from Krakatoa floated as far as the coast of Africa.
The volcano itself exploded into oblivion. Many people in the area believed that the world was coming to an end. However, once the dust settled, scientists began to see Krakatoa as an opportunity for gleaning insight into both the beginnings of life on what was suddenly a barren landscape and the effects of subsurface Earth movements. Just as compelling is the significance of this event as the first global news story.
Via new, state-of-the-art underwater telegraph cables, news of the eruption traveled the globe in a matter of hours. Winchester deftly blends all these elements into a stirring account. He examines the event's long-lasting repercussions for both the people and wildlife of Java and reports on his recent visit there to witness a new mountain rising on the volcano's site at a rate of 20 feet in height and 40 feet in width per year. HarpC, 2003, 416 p., b&w photos/illus., hardcover, $25.95.
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded August 27, 1883 - book review
by : SIMON WINCHESTER