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Krakatoa is directly above the subduction zone of the Eurasian Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate where the plate boundaries make a sharp change of direction, possibly resulting in an unusually weak crust in the region.

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The 1883 eruption ejected approximately 25 km According to the official records of the Dutch East Indies colony, 165 villages and towns were destroyed near Krakatoa, and 132 were seriously damaged.At least 36,417 people died, and many more thousands were injured, mostly from the tsunamis that followed the explosion.The eruption destroyed two-thirds of the island of Krakatoa.A paraphrased account follows: On 8 September 1832, US sloop-of war Peacock anchored off the north end, also visiting Long Island, in search of inhabitants, fresh water, and yams.It was found difficult to effect a landing anywhere, owing to a heavy surf and to the coral having extended itself to a considerable distance from the shore.The Javanese Book of Kings (Pustaka Raja) records that in the year 338 Saka (416 AD): A thundering sound was heard from the mountain Batuwara [now called Pulosari, an extinct volcano in Bantam, the nearest to the Sunda Strait] which was answered by a similar noise from Kapi, lying westward of the modern Bantam [(Banten) is the westernmost province in Java, so this seems to indicate that Krakatoa is meant].

A great glowing fire, which reached the sky, came out of the last-named mountain; the whole world was greatly shaken and violent thundering, accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only did not this heavy rain extinguish the eruption of the fire of the mountain Kapi, but augmented the fire; the noise was fearful, at last the mountain Kapi with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deepest of the earth.

Hot springs boiling furiously up, through many fathoms of water, were found on the eastern side of Krakatoa, 150 feet from the shore.

Roberts, Captain Geisinger, and marine Lieutenant Fowler visited Forsaken island, having mistaken the singing of locusts for the sound of running water.

In 1927, a new island, Anak Krakatau, or "Child of Krakatoa", emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.

The most notable eruptions of Krakatoa culminated in a series of massive explosions over August 26–27, 1883, which were among the most violent volcanic events in recorded history.

A majority of these volcanoes lie along Indonesia's two largest islands, Java and Sumatra.