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Canary Islands ‘miracle home’ stands alone against volcano’s lava flow | Spain

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Like a cartoon house with its own raincloud, a Canary Islands home has survived rivers of lava flowing from the volcanic eruption on La Palma, with images showing the untouched residence and nearby landscape surrounded by charred black landscape.

Social media users called it the “miracle house”, the BBC reported. Its owners, a retired Danish couple who are not on the island, said they were “relieved it’s still standing”, according to Ada Monnikendam, who built the house.

“We all started crying like crazy when I told them [the owners] that their beloved house was intact,” Monnikendam told El Mundo.

The house is in El Paraíso, where more than half of homes and the local school have been destroyed.

The couple chose La Palma specifically because of its volcanic landscape, Monnikendam told El Mundo. She said it was “sad to know that the house is there alone without anyone being able to take care of it”.

The advance of lava on the island slowed significantly on Thursday, which raised fears that the molten rock might fan out further in the coming days and cause more destruction instead of just flowing out into the sea, Associated Press reported.

One giant river of lava 600 metres (2,000ft) wide slowed to a speed of four metres (13ft) an hour after reaching a plain on Wednesday, officials said. On Monday, a day after the eruption on La Palma, it was moving at 700 metres (2,300ft) an hour.

A second stream of lava has virtually ground to a halt, the head of the National Geographic Institute in the Canary Islands, Maria Jose Blanco, told a news conference.

Blanco said seismic activity on La Palma island was now “low” but molten rock was still being thrown out of the volcano.

Lava fills swimming pool as La Palma eruption continues – video
Lava fills swimming pool as La Palma eruption continues – video

As it slowed, the lava grew thicker. In places, it rose up to 15 metres (50ft) high, authorities said. It now covers 166 hectares (410 acres) and has swallowed up around 350 homes.

The uncertainty has left many residents on the western side of the island of 85,000 people in limbo. Scientists say the lava flows could last for weeks or months.

La Palma witnessed its last eruption in 1971.

– with Associated Press

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