1960 Puna Lava Flow

Full video by filmed and narrated by Fred Rackle! In 1960, ground cracks opened up in Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii, followed by a fissure eruption. Residents had superb views of lava rivers and fountains. Unfortunately, the lava began to slowly head towards the town of Kapoho, destroying papaya fields along the way. Homeowners had plenty of time to evacuate, but eventually the stores and homes were burned and then covered by the lava. Video includes the photographer rescuing his car from an advancing aa flow, the Kapoho schoolhouse burning, and the formation of black sand as lava enters the sea. Professional photographer Fred Rackle filmed the eruption with a B&H movie camera and a tripod. Decades later, he donated a narrated SVHS copy to CSAV, with permission to distribute. Now, 50 years after the eruption, we are pleased to honor Rackle by sharing this astonishing video with the world. Visit our new Fred Rackle web page, to learn details of this photographer’s life and adventures, at