Hawaii resident Caroline Sasaki refuses to watch the video of her that went viral this week. In the clip, a 3,000-pound boulder crashes through her new Honolulu-area home, mere feet from where she had been walking. “Basically, I’m in shock,” says Sasaki, a longtime resident of Palolo, Hawaii. “Everyone is telling me I’m lucky.”
Sasaki, who wasn’t injured, says, “God is with me.” Three other people in the house at the time also were unharmed. The family had been living in the hillside home for only about a week and was still in the process of settling in.
Hawaii Resident: ‘All I Heard Was the Boom’
The frightening incident occurred late Saturday night (January 28), as Sasaki was walking to her living room to watch TV. “I didn’t see it,” she says of the five-foot boulder. “All I heard was the boom when the glass cracked from the sliding door, so I backed up and I guess it passed right through me.”
An injured leg causes Hawaii resident to walk slowly, which she says also may have helped spare her life. “I haven’t watched the video, but they said if I took one more step, I probably wouldn’t be here,” she notes.
In online comments about the boulder footage, some people are taking issue with Sasaki and others bringing God into the story. After someone posted that “God was on her side,” another person responded that “‘god’ rolled the [expletive] Boulder down the hill in the first place.”
The boulder caused extensive damage to Sasaki’s home and also hit the family’s car that was parked outside. Prometheus Construction, which specializes in rockfall mitigation, offered Sasaki their cleanup services for free. “I’m very grateful and thankful,” she says.
Risk of Future Rockslides Remains, Say Experts
Sasaki says she had been concerned about excavation work being done on the property above her house. “I was in fear of this happening from before, from when they started,” she says. Another local homeowner says a smaller boulder recently hit a retaining wall near his property.
Prometheus Construction is using drones to assess the hillside’s stability—or lack thereof. VP Cliff Tillotson compares the boulders to “a house of cards,” saying, “You remove one, they’re all supporting each other, so all of a sudden now, these other boulders are going hey, ‘Where is my buddy that’s been supporting me all this time?’” Tillotson says additional rocks probably came loose during the excavation and may be at risk of falling.