Family survives falling boulder
FAMILY members residing at the popular White River Cinema at Namoruka got nearly killed yesterday morning when an uphill large boulder tumbled down and damaged the cinema hall.
Cinema owner Doreen Van Den Heever recalled the incident.
“After our morning tea, we decided to lie down on top of a table at the cinema’s entrance,” Mrs Van Den Heever said.
“Then we heard a rumbling noise from uphill, within seconds the large rock measuring 3 meters in diameter broke the western walling and rolled across the hall,” she added.
“It stopped just a meter away from us-at the edge of the eastern wall.”
Mrs Van Den Heever said they all screamed in panic and ran from the building.
“Lucky for a mother and children sleeping under the cinema house that the rock did not fall on top of their sleeping section.
“We were saved by a long stool which holds the rock from rolling further down the road which might result in serious casualty,” Mrs Van Den Heever said.
She said it was fortunate and a miracle that root trees and the cinema wall slowed the large rock down before thrusting into the building.
However, the biggest fear for the Bellonese family is that a larger rock measuring 8 meters in diameters than the one just fallen is on the verge of tumbling down any time soon.
“After the incident, we survey the hill top and see that the rock which falls down into our house is a just a chunk of a much bigger porous rock.
“We are cautious and remain alert seeing the bigger rock will soon fall on top of our home if there is another heavy downpour or an earthquake,” Mrs Van Den Heever said.
Another family member Vani William shared his frustration after calling on responsible authorities like the National Disaster Council Office and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force yesterday for help after the incident.
Unfortunately, his calls were unsuccessful.
“I tried dialing the NDC for damage assessment but their landline is not answered.
“Then I called the police to help remove the rock but they did not turn up.
“We are helpless right now,” Mr William said.
He said their families are being evacuated to a relative’s house uphill at Savo Heights.
“We will wait for responsible authorities to find ways in removing the rock in the cinema hall.
“And also for assessing and removing the large boulder uphill which if fall will not only damage our house but those on the other side of the road,” Mr William said.
The cinema is owned and operated by American born John Graham Van Den Heever and Doreen Van Den Heever.
By TEDDY KAFO