HONOLULU (KHON) — A large boulder crashed into the home of a Hawaiian family, nearly hitting one of the owners.
Community members raise concerns about a nearby development in Palolo that excavated the mountain. They said that before the development no boulders rolled down the valley and now they have seen three boulders come down in 24 hours.
For Caroline Sasaki, who lives in Palolo, it was the next call. A massive boulder went right through her home, narrowly missing her on Saturday night.
“Today I’m a little better, but last night I was very upset,” Sasaki said, adding that it was difficult to sleep. “I really didn’t know what happened other than the loud bang.”
Sasaki, who grew up in the neighborhood and only returned with her family about a week ago after building their new home, said large boulders rolling down the hill were not common.
“We used to live in this place. We just tore down the old house and rebuilt it and it has never happened – heavy rain and hurricane warnings, nothing. So there were never any stones coming down,” Sasaki said. “We had some issues with them carving the mountain and I don’t know if that’s the cause.”
Other longtime residents agreed. They said what changed was a home development project and the carving of the mountain behind Sasaki’s house.
The development’s owner, Bingning Li, said his project and the Boulder incidents are unrelated.
“Not at all, it comes from the top. I looked at one of these rocks about 50 feet from the top of the property and landed over there and then made my way here,” Li said. “So it hit one of the cables that was supposed to stop it and the cable snapped. That took a lot of energy. Otherwise this damage would be much greater.”
Li said he will bring engineers to inspect the project and strengthen a barrier wall along his project.
Meanwhile, concerned residents want answers before anyone gets hurt.
“The permitting and planning ministry, emergency management, the mayor, the city council,” Sasaki said. “You should all join because lives are at stake.”
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