Tambora - the biggest volcanic eruption
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2012 8:25 PM Last Post By: timdog
Nov 16, 2012 4:45 PM
Tambora - the biggest volcanic eruptionYou might be interested in this feature of mine on the history of the eruption of Gunung Tambora .
Everyone knows of the Krakatau eruption, but Tambora, six decades earlier, was around ten times as big...
Nov 16, 2012 6:17 PM
1Thanks for sharing this beautifully crafted piece full of information about an event that is so litttle known: an event that deserves to be recognised for what it was - the greatest explosion in modern history. Krakatau was a Tom Thumb in comparison. If you have a yearning for adventure get yourself to Tambora - you won't be disappointed.
Nov 16, 2012 7:08 PM
Nov 16, 2012 11:54 PM
3Thanks guys - and yes, Steve, it has been on my wish-list for ages, having rattled back and forward past it on my way through Sumbawa a good half-dozen times...
Although Krakatua erupted when international communication was better developed, it does still baffle me just how little known Tambora is by comparison. The eruption took place during the British Interregnum in Indonesia (which is why i happened to have done some research on it), and there are actually quite significant sources, including lots of first-hand contemporary accounts in English of what happened.
I'm surprised no one really made use of them later on.
When the first eruption happened garrisons all over Java sent soldiers out into the dusk looking for the battle they were sure was underway. Several ships set sail thinking that some other ship was in trouble and was firing its cannon in search of assistance. And even all the way west in Bengkulu they thought it was gunfire...
Nov 17, 2012 12:52 AM
Nov 17, 2012 7:48 AM
Nov 18, 2012 5:04 PM
6Thank you so much, Tim, for posting this highly interesting article. I have lived several years in West Nusa Tenggara and the mystical name of Gn. Tambora is still expressed with reverence. Now Gn. Rinjani is the highest peak in the region and many elderly could/can still remember the misery after the devastating eruption of Gn. Agung, Karangasem, Bali, but Gn. Tambora is legendary.
B.t.w., just imagine how huge the eruption of (now) Danau Toba must have been after reading this article...
Nov 18, 2012 5:22 PM
Nov 19, 2012 10:21 AM
Nov 21, 2012 2:23 AM
Old Jakarta hands may also remember the splendidly seedy Tambora bar in Blok, another legend though in a different way.
Nov 21, 2012 7:22 PM
10Glad you liked it guys!
As I said above, I've always been puzzled as to why Tambora is so little known compared to the much smaller Krakatau - there are those plentiful English language sources...
Re. the ruined kingdom of Tambora, it's usually said that everyone there died, but contemporary reports talk of a group of 25 men who were away travelling on official business at the time, and there must have been a few other. For me that's a striking and very sad image - for several decades more there would have been this tiny handful of disenfranchised Tamborans scattered around the region, people speaking a language that only ghosts understood...
RAK - funnily enough someone mentioned that place to me last night: "Ah, we're talking about different Tamboras...."
Book's out in Indonesia now, by the way. Officially launch is in Jakarta on 29 November at the Periplus in Kemang, then got a couple of events in Bali the next week...
Nov 25, 2012 6:50 PM
Dec 2, 2012 12:00 PM
12Together with my wife we climbed Tambora in mid-November 2012 and today completed writing a guidebook which we hope would help would-be trekkers organize the trip.
Dec 2, 2012 5:55 PM
Dec 2, 2012 8:25 PM
14Great stuff, Sonlog! If you haven't already done so, it would be good to post a link to your guidebook under the Tambora listing on the http://www.gunungbagging.com/ website...
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