'Miracle house' on Canary Islands left untouched by destructive lava flow

·3 min read
'Miracle house' on Canary Islands left untouched by destructive lava flow

A miraculous sight was photographed on the Spanish island of El Palma where the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been erupting and spewing lava for nearly a week. Hundreds of homes were devoured by the fast-flowing lava, but somehow, some way, at least one was left standing all by its lonesome.

Ada Monnikendam, who built the house with her husband, was amazed when she saw the photo of the home encircled by lava circulating on social media this week, according to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "I know that house! My husband and I built it!" she said. The property is reportedly owned by a retired couple in Demark, who have owned the villa for decades but have been away from the island for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple expressed relief when informed by Ada that their house was still standing.

"We all started crying like crazy when I told them that their beloved house was intact," Ada told El Mundo. "They told me, 'Even though we can't go now, we're relieved that it's still standing. We'll enjoy it in a while ... or we'll leave it to our three children.'"

Lava from a volcano eruption surrounds a house on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool)

Since the photos first emerged, people on social media have dubbed the property a "miracle house," according to the BBC.

Large explosions continued to be heard from the erupting volcano on Friday as ash poured into the air, The Associated Press reported. La Palma is located within the Canary Islands, an archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa.

The main lava flow heading toward the ocean was advancing at speeds of up to 2,300 feet per hour earlier this week. That lava flow has since slowed significantly to about 3 feet per hour, the AP said.

According to the latest estimates from Copernicus Emergency Management Service which provides mapping products based on satellite imagery, 420 buildings have been destroyed by the lava flow which covers about 470 acres (190.7 hectares).

Images from around the lava flow show several other buildings that appeared to be spared from a close encounter by the lava, but none in quite as dramatic a fashion.


The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano first began on Sunday, 19 September when a fissure opened on a hillside on the southern part of the island, an area that is dominated by rural agricultural villages.

About 6,000 people have been evacuated so far, and several hundred more homes are at risk, according to a report from The New York Times.

On Tuesday, Ángel Víctor Torres, the president of the Canary Islands, announced that damage on La Palma will total an amount higher than 400 million euros ($469 million USD).

The island is no stranger to eruptions, as Cumbre Vieja erupted back in 1971 and 1949. The last eruption on La Palma lasted for three weeks, according to the AP. The most recent eruption throughout the entire archipelago was an underwater eruption near El Hierro island in 2011 that lasted for about five months.

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