Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg buys more land in Hawaii costing £12 million

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Mark Zuckerberg  (AFP via Getty Images)
Mark Zuckerberg (AFP via Getty Images)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has purchased more property in Hawaii - including most of a reservoir that unleashed a deadly flood 15 years ago.

Property records show Mr Zuckerberg’s Kaloko LLC bought a 110-acre (44.5-hectare) site on Kauai last month for 17 million US dollars (£12.6 million).

Tha land was bought from a company owned by the fishing entrepreneurial Pflueger family, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The purchase includes most of a reservoir that flooded in 2006, killing seven people, after a section of a dam burst following 40 days of near-constant rain.

James Pflueger was held responsible for the tragedy for his management of the dam.

Mr Pflueger was sentenced by a state judge to seven months in jail in 2014 and was released in 2015.

He died in 2017 at the age of 91.

One of the world’s richest men Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chang are committed to doing their part of fulfilling legal requirements and promoting safety of the reservoir, said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the couple.

The reservoir remains unrepaired and on the state’s list of high-risk dams.

The couple plan to extend farming, ranching, conservation and wildlife protection work on the land, Mr LaBolt said.

“Mark and Priscilla continue to make their home at Ko’olau Ranch,” LaBolt said. He added that they had “worked closely with a number of community partners to operate a working ranch, promote conservation, produce sustainable agriculture and protect wildlife and look forward to expanding their efforts to include this additional property”.

The couple already had 1,300 acres (526 hectares) on the island - a $100m 750-acre plot bought in late 2014 and a $53m 600-acre purchase made in March 2021.

Zuckerberg’s estate has been met with criticism in the past.

In 2016, he angered locals by constructing a 6ft stone wall around his property that blocked access to Pila’a Beach.

Then in 2017 he filed lawsuits against hundreds of locals who owned small pockets of land within his boundaries - called quiet title suits. They are often used to clarify history of land ownership, whch is sometimes complicated in Hawaii.

However, the suits can sometimes force owners to auction off their land and pay the legal fees of the defendants.

Zuckerberg eventually dropped the suit and the pockets of land were eventually sold at an auction.

Zuckerberg also owns a total of roughly 1,400 acres and 10 houses in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Lake Tahoe, amounting to a $320m real estate portfolio.

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