Perboewatan (also spelled Perbuatan; apparently a Malay word of uncertain dervivation) was one of the three main volcanic cones (the others being Danan and Rakata) on the island of Krakatoa (or Krakatau), in the Sunda Strait, in Indonesia. It was the lowest (400 ft) and northernmost of the cones. Perboewatan was completely destroyed in the 1883 eruption; the caldera is approximately 1,800 feet (550 m) deep where it had been.
Perboewatan is the only cone on Krakatoa that there are good pre-1883 photographs of; made on May 27, 1883, by visitors to the island. In the photos it appears to be a low hill with a flat top. Climbers reported the erupting crater to be about 3,300 feet (1,000 m) across at the top, narrowing to 150 at the bottom and 500-800 feet deep. Samples were collected and on analysis, revealed a silica (SiO2) content of 65%.
In February 1681 two travelers through the straits saw Krakatoa erupting. Johann Wilhelm Vogel, a mining assayer, was told that the eruption had begun in May, 1680. Since they were passing to the north of the island, apparently Perbowatan was the erupting cone. This is backed up by Verbeek's visit in 1880, when he took samples from a 'fresh-looking' lava flow on the northern coast. The flow was unweathered, with little vegetation, indicating recent origin.
The 1883 Catastrophe
Perboewatan started erupting on May 20, 1883, being previously thought to be extinct. On May 27, 1883, the GG Loudon took a sight-seeing group of about 90 to Krakatoa, landing on the northern end of the island, just below Perboewatan. Several in the party climbed up to the crater, which was still erupting. As the ship was leaving, a photographer took several photos of the erupting volcano.
In R. D. M. Verbeek's reconstruction of the eruption, Perboewatan is thought to have been the first cone destroyed, at about 4:40 am, August 27.
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