SIMON WICHESTER’S KRAKATOA: EVIDENCE PRESENTED

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SIMON WICHESTER’S KRAKATOA: EVIDENCE PRESENTED

Introduction

Winchester’s Krakatoa is a complete and graphic description of an event that went to shape the history of the indies- the explosion of what many term as the most dangerous volcano on earth, the Krakatoa. The legendary explosion of 1883 took place in the coast of Java.  Perhaps, as indicated by Nardo and McGovern (1990) and Graves (2009) most notable about this catastrophe was that it was not just a singular event but rather a combination of events. The explosion itself was followed by the tsunami which killed more than 40,000 people. As with many events the catastrophe indeed affected the history of the entire region as well as large portions of the world.

The effects of the catastrophe were felt as far as USA and even France. In fact, Winchester claims that the aftershocks of the eruption could be felt all the way in Australia. The effects went beyond the physical destruction; they went even into political arenas. The eruption is credited for brining an anti-western movement which took root among the Muslims in the region. The dust from the explosion went on to affect the health of many and cause one of the worst forms of air pollution in the world today.

Winchester delves into the history of the region and provides a historical perspective on the catastrophe that destroyed an entire island. He uses critical evidence to demonstrate that indeed what could have been an isolated event became a chain of events with far reaching consequences beyond the island and even surrounding islands. There have been critiques who have argued that the book is indeed a dramatization of events, however, the author called upon his knowledge and skills piecing together the geology as well as history and providing an entirely new perspective on the event.

Witness accounts of the eruption

This is the first piece of evidence that is quoted and relied upon by Winchester. The author uses the report to show that indeed there was awareness that such an event indeed took place. Bal an explorer wrote a report on the experiences of the crew. The crew in 1883 was approaching what they thought to be a barren and bare island. While exploring the island, the ship docked and the crew spent sometime there. During this time, the crew did experience what the captain thought to be an earthquake followed by some enormous explosion. This Winchester (2.............


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