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Boulder hits Hawaii Kai townhouse

  • PHOTO BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA/CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A boulder that fell in a carport on Kawaihae Street in Hawai Kai last night remains at the scene this morning.
  • PHOTO BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA/CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A boulder that fell into a carport on Kawaihae Street in Hawaii Kai last night remained at the scene this morning.
  • PHOTO BY FL MORISS/FMORRIS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A large boulder crashed into the carport area of condominiums at 400 Kawaihae Street in Hawaii Kai. The unit hit was unoccupied and there were no injuries. The boulder about four feet in diameter, came off the hillside behind the units. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by FL Morris
  • PHOTO BY FL MORISS/FMORRIS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A large boulder crashed into the carport area of condominiums at 400 Kawaihae Street in Hawaii Kai. The unit hit was unoccupied and there were no injuries. The boulder about four feet in diameter, came off the hillside behind the units.
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A boulder, roughly 4 feet in diameter, rolled off a hillside and crashed into a wooden pillar supporting a three-story townhouse in the Kawaihae Crescent complex in Hawaii Kai.

No one was injured in the incident. A significant portion of the pillar was splintered and bent and there was evidence that the massive rock might have grazed another pillar as it rolled.

"We didn’t hear anything but we could feel it," said Beverly Desmond, who lives next door to the affected unit, which was empty Sunday night. "It was like a bomb going off without the explosion."

There are eight units in the townhouse.

Police, fire and emergency management personnel responded to the 7:30 call.

Residents were warned that other boulders could come loose and that the damage to the pillar could compromise the safety of the structure. But it was left to them to choose whether to stay or seek other accommodations.

Civil Defense was expected to contact Hawaiiana Management, which manages the property, and the landowner Kamehameha Schools, which in turn would need to arrange for a geological assessment of the hillside and a structural evaluation of the townhouse.

Police and fire officials said Sunday night it was too dark to determine where exactly the boulder originated on the ridge.

Darin Shigeta, who owns the affected unit, said he and his wife were away when the incident occurred but were notified by a neighbor. The boulder came to rest in the parking stall where Shigeta normally parks his car.

"It could have been worse," he said. "We could be homeless and carless. At least no one got hurt. Ultimately, that’s the most important thing."

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