LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

WATCH: In Hawaii, A 'Firehose' Of Lava Pours Into The Ocean

An open lava stream pours out of the lava tube, perched high on the sea cliff, and into the ocean.

Researchers in Hawaii have captured dramatic footage of a "firehose" of red-hot lava plummeting down a cliff into the Pacific Ocean, sending fragments of lava and clouds of gray smoke into the sky.

It's coming from the big island's Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting since January 1983.

On New Year's Day, about 21 acres of rock from the Komokuna lava delta collapsed. After that, "the exposed lava tube continued to feed a cascade of molten rock down the steep sea cliff," according to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. That's what we're looking at now.

It goes without saying that a tube of red-hot lava is extremely dangerous. In the footage, the hot lava hitting cooler water continually explodes, sending off fragments of molten lava and volcanic glass in all directions. The USGS said last week that large bursts have sent the spatter "about twice the height of the sea cliff."

The lava stream has appeared to narrow in the past few days. National Park representatives have set up a viewing area for the stream of lava, where visitors can see it from a safe distance through binoculars or a telephoto lens.

Meanwhile, the researchers are concerned that the cliff itself continues to be unstable. They're noticing a widening crack, "making the site extremely dangerous for anyone who ventures too closely to the ocean entry by land or by sea." Researchers can actually hear grinding noises coming from the crack, and they're warning that it "could collapse at any time."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)