The “miracle house” that managed to survive a volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma has finally been consumed by lava.
The property escaped the molten rock flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano last Thursday and videos were posted on social media showing the little home standing unscathed on a patch of land, surrounded by scorched earth.
Now the owners of the house, a retired Danish couple called Inge Bergedorf and Ranier Cocq, have told Spanish media that it has been destroyed by the volcano.
“Everything is destroyed. We have lost everything on our beloved island,” Mr Cocq told El Mundo. “It is very sad. Inge and I are devastated.”
The couple usually spent the winter months in their Spanish villa, with Mr Cocq saying: “We used to go in October and November to collect the grapes that we have in our vineyards. But now there is nothing left. [The magma] first swallows the vines. Now it has also devoured our home.”
The lava has flattened hundreds of homes in the region since the volcano erupted on September 19, and more than 6,000 people have been forced to flee. On Tuesday, the lava reached the Atlantic Ocean, raising concerns about the release of toxic gas as the hot rock reacted with the water.
Clouds of white steam were seen rising as the red-hot lava made contact with the ocean in the Playa Nueva area. It has been estimated by the EU’s Copernicus service that the magma has covered 267 hectares (2.7 sq km) on its way to the bay.
The Spanish government has since declared La Palma - one of the Canary Islands off the coast of north-west Africa - a disaster zone and pledged financial support for all those affected by the volcano.
The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, said that an estimated £346m of damage had been caused by the eruption and described the people of La Palma as “cowering in fear with a tremendous sense of desolation”.
Ranier Cocq said that he and his wife, who live on the Jutland penisula in Denmark, have not visited La Palma since the Covid-19 pandemic began. He added: “The house was really just for sleeping. We lived on the streets. My wife spent the day in her garden.
“I enjoyed the good people of La Palma and my neighbours from El Paraiso. Now I am very sorry for them - they are mostly foreigners from the centre of Europe. I have spoken with some and they tell me that they have also been left with nothing.”
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