Krakatoa: The Last Days, Clip 4 - The Wave





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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2008

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From the BBC docu-drama, "Krakatoa: The Last Days." The movie is also known as "Krakatoa: Volcano of Destruction" and aired on Discovery Channel. The movie brings to life the journals and recollections of four witnesses who survived the cataclysmic eruption of Krakatoa in August of 1883.

Captain Lindeman had been fighting the ash fall that threatened to capsize his ship. Meanwhile the collapse of Rakata Island had created mammoth sea waves which were radiating out from Krakatoa's epicenter and had already wiped out Sebesi Island northeast of Krakatoa. The Loudon, anchored at Lampong Bay near the village of Telok Betong, north of Krakatoa, was about to encounter one such giant wave.

A passenger, N.H. van Sandick, on the Loudon gives an account:

"Suddenly, at about 7 a.m., a tremendous wave came moving in from the sea, which literally blocked the view and moved with tremendous speed. The Loudon steamed forward in such a way that she headed right into the wave. One moment... the wave had reached us. The ship made a tremendous tumbling; however, the wave was passed and the Loudon was saved. The wave now reached Telok Betong and raced inland. Three more similar colossal waves followed, which destroyed all of Telok Betong right before our eyes. The light tower could be seen to tumble; the houses disappeared; the steamer Berouw was lifted and got stuck, apparently at the height of the cocoanut trees; and everything had become sea in front of our eyes, where a few minutes ago Telok Betong beach had been. The impressiveness of this spectacle is difficult to describe. The unexpectedness of what is seen and the tremendous dimensions of destruction, in front of one's eyes make it difficult to describe what has been viewed. The best comparison is a sudden change of scenery, which in fairy tales occurs by a fairy's magic wand, but on a colossal scale and with the conscious knowledge that it is reality, and that thousands of people have perished in an indivisible moment, that destruction without its equal has been wrought, and that the observer is in threatening danger of life. Taking all these things together the impression caused by such a natural scene can possibly be described, but it stops short of reality..."

Read the official report made by Captain Lindeman and the less constrained complete account by N.H. van Sandick:

The Eruption of Krakatoa:

If you want to see the full docudrama, you can catch it on Discovery Channel, rent it, or buy the DVD at Amazon.co.uk:


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