Canary Islands ‘miracle house’ somehow survives huge lava flow

Canary Islands ‘miracle house’ somehow survives huge lava flow
The La Palma house is owned by an elderly Danish couple in their eighties

In a rare save, a home on the Canary Islands has managed to escape the fiery throes of lava from an erupting volcano and is now being dubbed as a “miracle house.”

Dramatic photos that have gone viral on social media show swathes of charred land surrounding the house, its white walls and rust brown roof untouched by the river of lava residue around it.

The vegetation that surrounded the house, on the Canary Island of La Palma where the volcano erupted, was burnt to a crisp, as seen from the photos.

Exactly how the house survived volcanic lava is not clear yet. The owners, however, became emotional and its architect, relieved, once they came to know the house was unscathed, but surrounded by gutted land.

Owned by Danish retirees Inge and Rainer Cocq, the house was built by architect Ada Monnikendam and her husband, reported Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “I know that house! My husband and I built it!” said Ms Monnikendam.

The elderly Danish couple in their eighties have not visited their La Palma property since the pandemic began, but were in tears when they received news of what was dubbed as the “miracle house” by social media users.

“We all started crying like crazy when I told them that their beloved house was intact,” Ms Monnikendam said. The Danish family knows they may not be able to see the house now because of the risks involved, but hope to leave it behind for their children.

The lives of thousands of inhabitants of the Canary Island of La Palma near Spain were upended after the volcanic eruption began along the Cumbre Vieja ridge on Sunday.

Simmering lava continued to flow this week, spewing ash, lava rocks and smoke around the island, raising questions whether it would flow into the sea or settle on the ground.

Lava flows around a house following the eruption of a volcano in the Cumbre Vieja national park at El Paso, on the Canary Island of La Palma

In a respite for authorities, the advance slowed significantly on Thursday. There are fears, however, that molten rock could still spread out in the coming days, causing more destruction in its wake.

A giant lava river spanning 600 metres slowed down to 4m per hour after it hit a plain in the last 24 hours, officials said. A day after the eruption, the lava river had moved at 700m per hour.

Another stream of lava has ground to a halt, said Maria Jose Blanco, the head of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands.

The lava river may not reach the sea, according to some scientists. It is not expected to reach the Atlantic Ocean before the weekend, said Ms Blanco.

No casualties have been reported so far from the eruption, officials said. Nearly 7,000 people were evacuated in time owing to the warnings of a possible eruption by scientists monitoring the volcanic activity.

La Palma reported its last eruption in 1971.