Kalihi Valley residents want someone to pay for damages

Published On: Apr 27 2012 03:56:43 PM HST   Updated On: Apr 25 2012 11:24:00 PM HST

Residents of Kula Kolea Place in Kalihi showed up at a community meeting Wednesday, asking the state to do more to protect their homes from massive boulders hanging precariously above.

Several boulders damaged three homes on April 12th, when they tumbled down a hillside.

This weekend, the state will remove some dangerous boulders.  But some residents want the state to check the entire ridge line, and not just the area above the damaged homes.

State officials say they're not liable, and they don't have the money to start that kind of a project.

Patricia Sarmiento, who lives on Kula Kolea Place doesn't want to sleep inside her house these days.

She sleeps inside her car instead.

"I have this kind of you know paranoid feeling," said Sarmiento.

She and other residents believe the state has to do more than just remove five to ten boulders that are immediate threats to nearby homes, and she wants someone to pay for damages. 

"It's the state attorney general's position that rocks that come down from areas kept in natural state is not anyone's fault," said Department of Land and Natural Resources Director William Aila.

For now, Patricia prays to God nothing will happen to her family or her house.

"Somebody is protecting us.  The rock just landed in the middle out there," said Sarmiento.

In the fifteen years she has lived here though, other boulders have come close to crushing her house.

She's been lucky, but her next door neighbor who lives just steps away hasn't been as lucky.

"We had this big rock which was five feet tall, chipped two feet off, dug underneath, and built over it," said Keoni Maemori, whose house was damaged by a boulder on April 12.

Keoni hasn't heard back from his insurance company yet, and doesn't think he'll receive any money from them.

He's rebuilding piece by piece, and hoping no other rocks come crashing down.


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