Powerful explosions at Anak Krakatau volcano, Indonesia

eruption at anak krakatau volcano indonesia on november 26 2023

The Anak Krakatau volcano in Indonesia entered a period of intense eruptive activity around 05:28 UTC on November 26, 2023. The volcano has since produced numerous explosions, with ash columns reaching heights of up to 2.1 km (7 000 feet) above sea level. Officials are urging residents to stay away at least 5 km (3.1 miles) from the volcano.

The Anak Krakatau volcano, located in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, experienced a sudden and significant increase in eruptive activity on November 26, 2023. Beginning at approximately 05:28 UTC, the volcano produced a series of explosive eruptions. Ash was seen reaching up to 1 km (3 281 feet) above the crater on November 26, equivalent to 1.1 km (3 796 feet) above sea level.

This period of heightened activity continued into November 27, with at least nine more explosions recorded by 08:25 UTC. The most intense of these eruptions sent ash columns to heights of approximately 2.16 km (7 000 feet) at 04:43 UTC. The ash, described as gray to black in color with a thick intensity, drifted predominantly towards the northwest.

Andi Suardi, the head of the volcano’s monitoring post in Rajabasa District, confirmed the eruptions and urged people, especially fishermen, to maintain a safe distance of at least 5 km (3.1 miles) from the volcano. The nearest settlement to Anak Krakatau is Sebesi Island, located about 16.5 km (10.2 miles) away. Residents of Sebesi Island, like Udi from the Sebesi Island Village, reported panic due to the loud rumbling sounds accompanying the eruptions, likening them to thunderous noises. Udi mentioned that the community was unable to sleep due to the persistent and loud sounds.

Suardi also confirmed that the volcano is currently at Alert Level III or Siaga, indicating a heightened state of alert.

satellite image of anak krakatau volcano on october 31 2023 sentinel-2
Image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, EO Browser, The Watchers. Acquired on October 31, 2023

The Krakatau volcano, often mistakenly referred to as Krakatoa, has a storied history. It underwent a catastrophic eruption in 1883, which led to the formation of the current caldera and the eventual emergence of the Anak Krakatau cone within it. This eruption was responsible for over 36 000 deaths, mostly due to tsunamis affecting the coastlines of Sumatra and Java.

Anak Krakatau itself has been a site of frequent eruptions since 1927, with the recent activity marking a continuation of its volatile history.

References:

1 Eruption information – MAGMA Indonesia – November 26 and 27, 2023

2 Krakatau – Geological summary – GVP

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