Landslide dumps rocks, debris on path to surf spots

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A busy path leading to some Diamond Head surf spots is blocked off. A landslide buried part of the walkway, and now people are wondering when the city plans to clean up the mess. The paved path is used by dozens of people each day, including surfers, joggers and tourists. The city put up signs to block off the route, but since it's the easiest way to get to the beach, many people aren't paying attention to the warning. 
Peter Wesly paddles out off Diamond Head for his daily surf fix, but getting to the water is a little tricky now because of all the rocks and dirt.
"We've already broken the trail and made the path, but they should clean it up cause it's dangerous. What about safety?" said surfer Peter Wesly.
Wesly says the landslide happened during the heavy rains a couple weeks ago, around the same time mud and debris closed Diamond Head Road.
"The whole side of the cliff fell down and the dirt was about was about, I don't know, up to my chest in the beginning," said Wesley. "Then we all walked across the whole time for about a week, and then finally after a week of that, they finally put these signs up."
"We cleaned out some of it, but nonetheless we blocked off the path," said parks and recreation director Gary Cabato.
There is another small landslide just past the first one. Cabato said once the city was notified five days ago, workers put up yellow tape and later added barriers to block off the path. Most people are ignoring the warning signs.
"It looked like maybe something might come down, but it didn't seem like at that moment, maybe if there's rain or something so it was alright," said surfer Akane Randall.
"We immediately called the Department of Design and Construction because they have a geologist on call so that we can have that geologist go up there and actually snoop around the slide area to see how extensive this might be," Cabato said.
The paved walkway near the lighthouse is the simplest way to access the beach. Going down another path along the cliff isn't so easy.         
"It's like a hike and if you're holding a board and stuff you kind of have to maneuver it so it's a little more technical and I don't know if everyone can go down that way," said Randall.
People who use the main walkway hope the city removes the mess soon.                  
"I figure it's probably going to be that way for awhile like a lot of things around here," said Kaneohe resident Jason Williams.
"How big of a risk it is, I'm not so sure until the geologist actually tells me. Once I know, I get my report from the geologist, then I may have to close the entire walkway," said Cabato.
Contractors will go out next week to assess the scope of work that needs to be done. Three bids need to be submitted before the city can start construction on the emergency project.

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