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.
This segment features the Beijerinck (Beyerinck) family in the village of Ketimbang, Sumatra. Controller Willem Beijerinck was one of seven assigned to oversee the growth and development of the Dutch colonies. Krakatoa had been building up activity, sending forth little explosions and a column of smoke from May to July. Many viewed this phenomenon as spectacular yet harmless. But to a few, such as Johanna Beijerinck, Willem’s wife, this was an ominous sign of terrible things to come. This is her account from her journal.
On August 26, 1883, Krakatoa entered into its paroxysmal phase, with eruptions on a virtually continuous basis and explosions heard every 10 minutes. A black cloud of ash arose from its depths to 17 miles (27km) high. The combined result of such heavy volcanic activity birthed the first of the tsunami that would destroy the coastal villages surrounding the volcano.
If you would like to read Johanna Beijerinck’s in-depth account of her family’s survival through this volcanic catastrophe, please visit:
Survivor Diary — Johanna Beyerinck
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: