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'Miracle Home' That Withstood a Volcano's Flow Succumbs

The owners are 'devastated,' but hope to rebuild
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2021 2:33 AM CDT
Updated Sep 29, 2021 12:10 PM CDT
'Miracle Home' in Path of Lava Flow Survives
Lava from a volcano eruption surrounds a house on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool)

(Newser) Update: Relief has turned to devastation for the owners of a "miracle home" that initially escaped the lava flow that has destroyed more than 600 other homes in the Canary Islands. The home on La Palma owned by retired Danish couple Inge Bergedorf and Ranier Cocq has now been consumed by lava, the BBC reports. "We have lost everything," Cocq tells El Mundo from his home in Denmark. "Inge and I are devastated." The lava flow reached the ocean for the first time on Tuesday evening. Our original story from Friday follows:

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A flow of lava from an eruption in the Canary Islands has destroyed hundreds of homes—and left one directly in its path still standing. Images show the "miracle home" on La Palma and a small area of surrounding land intact between rivers of lava, the Guardian reports. It belongs to a retired Danish couple in their 80s, who have not returned to the Spanish island since the start of the pandemic, the BBC reports. Ada Monnikendam, a La Palma resident whose company built the home around 30 years ago, tells El Mundo that owners Inge and Ranier Cocq are relieved the home has survived—but they're very worried about friends in the area who have lost everything.

"They are devastated and frustrated for being so far away," Monnikendam says. "They don't want to talk to anyone because they won't stop crying." At least 350 homes have been destroyed on the western side of the island, along with schools and other buildings, by two streams of lava from an eruption that began Sunday, reports the AP. One stream has almost completely stopped while the other has slowed to around 13 feet an hour from an estimated 2,300 feet per hour Monday. But the stream is also growing wider and thicker, raising fears that it will cause much more damage instead of flowing straight to the sea. Scientists say the flow of lava from the island's first eruption in 50 years could last weeks or months. (Read more volcano stories.)

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