Falling boulder damages Kalihi Valley home - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Falling boulder damages Kalihi Valley home

Gerald Abella Gerald Abella
The site from which the rocks fell The site from which the rocks fell
Abella's son Bryant & Bryant's Grandmother Abella's son Bryant & Bryant's Grandmother
The rockfall damaged flower pots in the Abella's back yard. The rockfall damaged flower pots in the Abella's back yard.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Members of a Kalihi Valley family were awakened early Monday morning by a couple of large boulders that smashed into the wall of a bedroom while two adults and a baby slept inside.

"We were sleeping and around 4:40, 4:45 (a.m.) we just heard this loud boom," said Gerald Abella, 33, of 1551 Nobrega St.  His home is against the mountain on the Diamond Head side of Kalihi Valley, a few blocks from Kalihi Uka Elementary School. 

"I was thinking like that, 'Oh, don't tell me it's a boulder.' Cause that was my worst fear when we moved into this room that a boulder would come down and my baby's in the room," Abella said. 

Abella, his wife Jennifer and 2-year-old son Bryant were asleep in their bedroom when the rock fall happened. 

"I think it came down as one big piece and when it impacted it kind of cracked," Abella said, as he pointed out the two large two-foot wide boulders and several other rocks that came down with them, damaging a wall of the wooden home but not going into the house.  Some of the family's potted plants were destroyed. 

The rocks fell from property just about 20 feet above the home, following a day of on-and-off rainfall. 

"It was raining but it wasn't pouring, storming.  I could hear the rain coming down stronger, like earlier, but when this happened, no it wasn't pouring hard," Abella said. 

Eight adults and one baby live in the home that's been owned by the Abella family since 1972. 

It's unclear if the rocks came from land owned by the Abella family, according to Peter Hirai, deputy director of the city's Department of Emergency Management. 

Hirai said the rock fall area either belongs to the Abellas or to a mainland man who owns a home a couple blocks away. The two families will most likely have to hire a surveyor to determine who's responsible for the damage, Hirai said. 

Hirai said city officials did not recommend the Abellas leave their home because of imminent danger of other rocks falling. 

Ligaya Abella, Gerald's mother, said a couple of other rocks have fallen onto their property over the years but this was the closest the boulders came to the house and the first time they caused real damage. 

The Abellas are just grateful no one was hurt. 

"Thank God it didn't penetrate through. Thank God it didn't go through the window, you know," Gerald Abella said.  

He said he and his family are sleeping in the living room, on the other side of the house.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

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