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Boulder Crashes Into East Oahu Neighborhood

Published On: Feb 14 2003 05:05:32 AM HST
Updated On: Feb 14 2003 05:14:10 AM HST
HONOLULU -

For the third time in six months, a boulder came crashing down into a Honolulu neighborhood after heavy rains Friday.

No one was hurt, but the massive rock narrowly missed a house.

At about 7:45 a.m., a boulder began zigzagging down the mountain in Waialae Nui Valley. It bounced off a curb, crushing it, flew over a car, knocked out a fire hydrant, and bounced off a tree, before it came to a stop 15 feet from a woman's bedroom.

"Nothing happened like this before, but I was afraid of it, that it might happen," Charlotte Higa said.

She wasn't home when the boulder tumbled down, but she's been keeping a watchful eye on this mountain ever since August, when a huge boulder killed Dara Onishi in Nuuanu while she slept.

"I've been thinking, maybe someday one of the boulders might come down and hit my bedroom," Higa said.

Joy Kugiyama, Charlotte's next-door neighbor, was in her house when the massive rock fell.

"I heard the loud boom," Kugiyama said. "It sounded like something hit our house. I guess it hit the fire hydrant."

The 4-foot by 5-foot boulder was taken a block away from where it landed by city workers.

Pieces of wood and dirt were embedded in it, souvenirs from its trip down the mountain, possibly caused by recent heavy rains.

"We've been kind of worried, but we're just hoping nothing like this would happen. We never thought it would happen to us on this mountain," Kugiyama said. "Thank God nobody got hurt."

Kamehameha Schools owns this hillside below Wilhelmina Rise where the boulder came from. A schools' spokesman said they sent a team to investigate and are evaluating the situation.

Kamehameha Schools also owns the land above Lalea in Hawaii Kai, where falling rocks led to the evacuation of some homes this past November.

The Kugiyamas said they're not going to let their kids play in front of the house anymore. Higa said she's considering moving all together.

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