Sebesi Island, Lampung


Sebesi is an island in the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra. It rises to a height of 844 metres (2,769 ft) and it lies about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of the Krakatoa Islands; it is the closest large island to Krakatoa, about the same area and height as the remmant of Rakata.

Like Krakatoa, it too is volcanic, although there are no dated eruptions known. Unlike the Krakatoas, Sebesi has permanent streams and is inhabited. Sebesi was devastated during the 1883 volcanic eruption of Krakatoa. Official records give approximately 3,000 people killed, with 1,000 of these being ‘non-residents’.

By 1890, Sebesi was being re-cleared. It is believed that since it lies closer to Sumatra, it has served as a ‘stepping stone’ for much of the flora and fauna which was re-established at Krakatoa. By the 1920s, settlers had returned, and today Sebesi is virtually completely cultivated, with only a small area at the peak and some mangrove swamps still natural.

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