DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
In Maunalaha Valley, more than 60 people joined an effort to help area residents dig their yards and homes out after a landslide. CLICK FOR LARGE
Family and friends pitch in to mop up muddy morass
Some in Maunalaha ignore warnings and remain in their homes
More than 60 family members and friends helped Maunalaha Valley residents clean up yesterday after a massive landslide on Friday.
Officials say the land above the homes remains unstable and are urging residents to stay out until the weather dries out, but some homeowners still opted to stay last night.
"This is our home," said Sally Moses, whose backyard was covered with piles of black dirt yesterday.
The dirt beside Moses' home was nearly 6 feet high and threatening to come in through open jalousies. Seven other homes were affected, officials said.
As soon as dawn broke yesterday, friends, family members and even a few strangers showed up with everything from food to heavy equipment to help clean up. They continued working after sunset.
Red Cross volunteers also helped Maunalaha residents yesterday.
Maunalaha residents said the outpouring of support gave them hope that their community could be saved.
The slide is the latest -- and the largest -- in a series of mudslides for the valley, and some fear it won't be the last.
The land above the valley belongs to the state.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman Peter Young could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Oahu Civil Defense spokes-man John Cummings also visited the valley and said the state needs to do something soon to ensure that the mountainside is secure.
"There's a risk here," he said, as he stood in Moses' backyard and peered up at the mountainside above.
In front of Moses' house, volunteers worked to clear mud from a hillside, where the landslide created a large crevice which residents have nicknamed the "Grand Canyon."
Before the slide, the sloping land had been filled with flowers and banana trees.
In a level patch of land above the crevice, longtime Maunalaha resident Keeliko Lopes had had plans to build a home, he said. As he took a beer break with friends yesterday, he joked that his land was now on Keeaumoku Street.