HONOLULU - The state has determined that the boulders that tumbled down and crashed into houses in a Honolulu mountainside neighborhood came from private property.
Honolulu Department of Emergency Management officials met with affected residents over the weekend and told them the land above their Kalihi houses is owned by Church of Christ of the Redeemed of the Lord and William and Shirley Jacinto of Maui.
Boulders crashed into several houses Thursday night, leaving two uninhabitable and forcing the evacuation of 12 homes. There were no injuries. Emergency management officials continue to tell residents they can return at their own risk, but most have opted to stay in their homes.
A boulder comes to a rest after rolling down a Kalihi, Oahu, mountainside
Soon after the boulders fell, the state sent a geo-tech firm to take a look and found that rockfall didn't originate on state property, said John Cummings III, emergency management spokesman.
"It's their responsibility to take care of the homes that are damaged," and remove other boulders that could fall or make sure they're secured, Cummings said. "(Church representatives) said they don't have the fiscal ability to do that."
It would cost between $50,000 to $200,000 to remove or secure the boulders.
Church officials couldn't immediately be reached Monday. William Jacinto said Monday he and his wife don't own the property and he doesn't know why they're listed on records as owners.
Affected residents are concerned about the possibility that other boulders will fall. "Some of the residents were upset that things aren't moving that quickly," Cummings said.
Meanwhile, it's not exactly clear what caused the boulders to loosen and roll down into the houses. "We see these rock falls a lot," Cummings said. "It's really hard to second guess what a mountain is going to do."