Tree could fall through Mangilao family's home - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tree could fall through Mangilao family's home

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - It may be Halloween - one of the scariest evenings of the year - but for a family in Mangilao for the last several weeks every night has been terrifying.

For expectant mother Leilani Lacap, it's risky business doing everyday household chores. "I always pray while I'm cooking or doing the laundry, but I don't have any choice," she told KUAM News.

That's because her neighbor's banyan tree now sits on her home's tin roof, directly over her kitchen and laundry room. "At first it was just leaning and then a few days later, it's almost on top of our house," she added.

The 40-plus foot tree got some help from the strong winds and rains that accompanied nearby Typhoon Francisco earlier this month. The tree has since uprooted, and today, cradles between a concrete gate that once divided Lacap's home from her neighbor's yard. "Even after the typhoon, there was some bad weather also so whenever there's rain and strong winds, I couldn't sleep at night because I was worried that it's going to destroy our house," she said.

At seven months pregnant with two young children and an 18-year-old, she and her husband fear the worst. "I'm worried about my kids that's why we're all staying in one room in front there," she said.

Looking for help and peace of mind, Lacap turned to village mayor Nito Blas. "Right after the storm, I asked for help through the Civil Defense and Public Works. Department of Public Works twice they send here a backhoe but the backhoe is too small at that time. It's muddy, raining, just too heavy for the backhoe then. We need bigger equipment to either pull this out away from the house and away from the fence," he said.

Little by little, Blas and his staff, along with the father and son of the neighboring house, are cutting down the tree. But it's still a mystery how to cut or pull the tree back, without destroying the decade-old home.

When asked about relocating, Lacap regretfully tells KUAM, it's just not an option. "We'd like to. My husband has been saying if we only had the resources to go somewhere but right now as much as we want to, we really cannot," she said.

KUAM News is waiting to hear from DPW on what other assistance can be provided to the family. 

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