Krakatau Volcano | John Seach

Sunda Strait, Indonesia

6.10 S, 105.42 E,
summit elevation813 m (Rakata Island),
Current cone height in January 2020 is 157 m.
Cone height before 2018 paroxysm 400 m.

Krakatau volcano (Krakatoa) lies in Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java Islands. It belongs to Lampung Province. Krakatau Volcanic Complex consists of Rakata, Sertung, Panjang and Anak Krakatau Islands. Anak Krakatau is the currently active centre at the volcano and emerged from the sea in 1930.

Krakatau volcano photos by John Seach. The photos on this page are before the December 2018 paroxysm. The island has dramatically changed and is now sterile of plant and animal life.

krakatau volcano eruption
Krakatau volcano eruption, September 2009 - John Seach

krakatau volcano
Krakatau volcano eruption, September 2009 - John Seach

Krakatau eruption 2009.

John Seach climbing Anak Krakatau East flank, April 2000
Warning: climbing Anak Krakatau is currently very dangerous and should not be attempted.

krakatau volcano
Krakatau eruption 2009

krakatau volcano
John Seach at summit of Anak Krakatau, April 2000
Warning: climbing Anak Krakatau is currently very dangerous and should not be attempted.

Krakatau volcano 2009

krakatau volcano, Indonesia
Bomb crater, Krakatau volcano

krakatau volcano indonesia
John Seach climbing Krakatau volcano.
Warning: climbing Anak Krakatau is currently very dangerous and should not be attempted.

krakatau volcano
Climbing Krakatau volcano.

krakatau volcano indonesia
John Seach at summit of Krakatau volcano, Indonesia.
Warning: climbing Anak Krakatau is currently very dangerous and should not be attempted.

Krakatau became famous after the paroxysmal eruption on August 27, 1883. The volcano erupted more than 18 cubic km of ash to a height of 80 km, and produced a tsunami as high as 30 m along the west coast of Banten and south coast of Lampung. The tsunami hit 295 villages and killed over 36,000 people.

2022 Eruptions
New eruptions began on 4 February 2022. Ash emissions reached an altitude of 7000 ft, and drifted SE. 

2019-2020 Eruptions
Krakatau volcano, Indonesia. Eruption on 31 December 2019. Ash reached 8000 ft altitude. Eruption lasted 1 minute 33 sec. Krakatau volcano remains at level 2 alert (on a scale of 1 to maximum 5). A 2 km radius exclusion zone was in place aound the crater. On 1 January 2020 continuous ash emissions to 8000 ft altitude. A large eruption occurred at Krakatau volcano on 11 April 2020. Ash emissions reached an altitude of 47,000 ft.

2018 Eruption and Tsunami
A paroxysmal eruption at Krakatau volcano occurred on 22 December 2018 . Ash emissions reached 60,000 ft altitude. The eruptions caused a tsunami which hit Tanjung Lesung Beach, Sumur Beach, Teluk Lada Beach, Panimbang Beach, and Carita Beach. The eruption had a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 4. Height of the volcano has decreased from 338 m to 110 m. The volume lost from the 22 December 2018 eruption is estimated at 150-180 million cubic meters. Effects of the 22 December 2018 tsunami from eruption of Krakatau volcano, Indonesia; 431 people killed, 7200 injured, 46,646 displaced, 1,527 heavily damaged houses, 434 damaged boats and ships.

On average only one eruption per year worldwide has this magnitude.

2017 Activity
Hotspots were visible on satellite images of Krakatau volcano on 17-18 February 2017. Renewed eruptions possible.

2012 Eruptions
On 2nd September 2012 constant tremor was recorded at the volcano, accompanied by Strombolian eruptions to a height of 300 m above the crater. The explosions rattled windows on the west coast of Java, 50 km away. The alert status at Krakatau was raised to level 3 (out of a maximum 4). A 1 km exclusion zone was placed around the crater.

2011 Eruptions
Eruptions from Krakatau volcano, Indonesia forced the evacuation of tens of thousands residents on 11th January 2011. Seven districts affected were Kalianda, Rajabasa, Katibung, Sidomulyo, Ketapang, Sragi and Palas. On Monday ash from Anak Krakatau continued to cover residential areas in parts of Banten province and South Lampung. Visual observations showed ash emissions reaching a height of 600 m and drifting east. Ashfall affected the operation of seismometers on the volcano. Fisherman and tourists were advised to stay at least 2 km from the volcano.

2010 Eruptions
On 29th October 2010 there were 136 eruptions at the volcano, compared to a recent average of 10 per day. Krakatau volcano was raised to level 2 alert.

2009 Eruptions
November 2009
Alert level at Krakatau volcano in Indonesia has been lowered from Siaga (Level III) to Waspada (Level II). Explosion earthquakes measured over the past few months were August 4311, September 541, and October 34. There has been a significant decline in eruptive activity at the volcano since August 2009. People are still advised to avoid landing on Anak Krakatau. Communities in the coastal areas of Banten and Lampung have been warned not to believe runours that the eruption Anak Krakatau will cause a tsunami. Fishing boats are permitted around Anak Krakatau.

May 2009
Eruptions are continuing at Krakatau volcano in Indonesia from a crater on the SW side of the cone in May 2009. A volcanic ash advisory from Darwin VAAC reported ash to 10,000 drifting NW of the volcano. On 6th May 2009 the level of alert at Krakatau was raised from Waspada (Level 2) to Siaga (Level 3), out of a maximum level 4. A renewed period of eruptions began at Krakatau on 19th March 2009, when 19 explosions were recorded. Between 1-25 April 2009 there have been 4060 explosions. Number of explosion earthquakes measured are 30 April 229, 1 May 324, 2 May 318, 3 May 250, 4 May 403, 5 May 371, and 6 May 132 (until midday). Shallow volcanic earthquakes, and tremor have been recorded. Visual observations from Rajabasa District in Sumatra in April reported ash emissions from 50-1000 m above the summit. From 1-24 April booming noises were heard from Sumatra 174 times, 83 times from 25-29 April. No sounds were heard from Krakatau between 30th April and 6th May. Incandescent material and ash are being emitted to a radius of 500 m from the crater. Pyroclastic flows may reach a distance of 700 m from the crater. Ash is falling 5 km from the volcano. Requests from the Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation request people stay at least 2 km from the volcano. Local communities are still allowed to fish outside the 2 km danger zone radius. Communities in the coastal province of Banten and Lampung are requested to remain calm and not fear a tsunami.

Great Eruption of 1883
Read more about the 1883 eruption. Eruption of 1883...

1680-81 Eruption
The first recorded observations of Krakatau eruptions were made by Johan Wilhelm Vogel, an employee at the gold mine Salida on Sumatra. He sailed past the volcano in 1680-81. On 1st February 1681 he was saw the island completely barren and burnt, where previously it was overgrown with trees.

Further reading
Ye, L., Kanamori, H., Rivera, L., Lay, T., Zhou, Y., Sianipar, D. and Satake, K., 2020. The 22 December 2018 tsunami from flank collapse of Anak Krakatau volcano during eruption. Science Advances6(3), p.eaaz1377.

Winchester, S., 2004. Krakatoa: The day the world exploded. Penguin UK.

Thornton, I.W., 1997. Krakatau: the destruction and reassembly of an island ecosystem. Harvard University Press.

Krakatau Volcano Eruptions

2023, 2022, 2019-2020, 2018, 2017, 2007-12, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994-95, 1992-93, 1988, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1975, 1972-73, 1969?, 1965?, 1959-63, 1958-59, 1955, 1953, 1952, 1950, 1949, 1946-47, 1946, 1945, 1944, 1943, 1942, 1941, 1938-40, 1937, 1936, 1935, 1932-34, 1931-32, 1927-30, 1883, 1680-81, 1550, 1350, 1150, 1050, 950, 850, 416, 250

Previous Eruptions