HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Emergency Management Agency recommended some residents in Palolo Valley vacate their homes until the weather system passes after a boulder smashed into a home nearly three weeks ago.
The letter to neighbors by the Director of HI-EMA Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara said due to the rockfall event on Saturday, Jan. 28, contractors assessed the stability of the hillside and found potentially active rockfall hazards.
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The letter said, “With the heavy rainfall in the immediate forecast, we recommend you vacate your homes until the weather system passes.”
Some neighbors packed up their bags and decided to spend the night somewhere else. But not everyone had a place to go.
Krasna Vallejos was sleeping when sheriff’s deputies delivered the letters to neighbors after 10 p.m. Thursday night.
“How am I going to sleep after this?” Vallejos said. “Stay here and hope for the best, pray for my family and my neighbors.”
Other neighbors said they would also stay in their homes, they did not have anywhere else to go.
Kalihi Valley Rep. John Mizuno is re-introducing a bill that would create strict liability for an owner of land with a 20 percent or more slope for damage or injury from falling rocks, debris and landslides.
Mizuno said rockfalls are a concern for his constituents.
Mizuno said, “Kalihi valley has a lot of this so we have rockslides every two to three years and with this heavy rainfall we are probably going to see maybe another incident of a rockfall or boulder being dislodged.”
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HI-EMA said the Palolo Valley neighborhood is not under a mandatory evacuation, but it recommends people near the rockfall site leave their homes until the rain passes.