‘World’s luckiest house’ stands alone after miraculously surviving La Palma volcano that destroyed hundreds of homes

THE "world's luckiest house" stands alone amongst the scorched landscape after miraculously surviving the red-hot lava spewing out of the La Palma volcano.

An unbelievable image shows the home in El Paríso appearing to be perfectly intact as it sits in the midst of devastation.


It has been dubbed a "miracle house" for somehow surviving the magma gushing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano that has destroyed over 350 properties.

The retired Danish couple who own the home are "relieved it’s still standing", according to Ada Monnikendam, who built the house with her husband.

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

More than half of the homes in the area and a local school have been ravaged by the relentless flow of lava.

The couple, who "don't want to talk to anyone because they won't stop crying," are ironically said to have chosen La Palma specifically because of its volcanic landscape.

Monnikendam said they were "sad to know that the house is there alone without anyone being able to take care of it."

But the constructer realises how lucky they are for the home to still be standing and explaining the homeowners have friends in the area who have lost everything.

Thousands were evacuated for their homes, with some being given just one hour to escape, forcing them to leave everything behind.

The bright white home boldly standing strong in the thick of the ravaged black terrain has now become a beacon of hope for terrified locals.

Its new found isolation eerily echoes that of a home in Iceland, located on the tiny island Elliðaey, which was dubbed the "world's loneliest house".

The single white building is perched on the side of a vast green hill, completely exposed to the elements, on the remote island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Now La Palma locals can only wait for the exact extent of the damage to be assessed as they remain holed up in makeshift shelters.

However, the Canary Islands government has announced plans to buy two housing developments to accommodate those made homeless.

CHANGE OF PACE

The lava was moving "very slowly" on Thursday, experts said – but it sparked fears the molten rock could fan out further in the coming days.

One hellish 2,000 ft wide river of lava decelerated to a speed of four metres an hour after reaching a plain on Wednesday, officials announced.

Its a significant drop from Monday's speed of 700 metres an hour – but the slow brings its own unique set of problems as it continues its deadly ooze.

The lava grew thicker as it calmed its speed, rising up to 50ft high in some places, authorities said.

It now covers 166 hectares on the island of La Palma after the eruption began on September 19.

Scientists fear the eruption and its aftermath could last for up to three months – meaning locals could live in fear of earthquakes, lava flows, toxic gases, volcanic ash and acid rain for weeks to come.

Although it is not clear if the lava will now reach the sea, residents were warned that if the two meet, it will create explosions and clouds of toxic gases as the lava cools rapidly.

"GAS BOMB"

The 1,000C lava will react with the mere 20C saltwater and produce a noxious "gas bomb" – causing further damage to the health and homes of locals.

An explosion of water vapour will occur, appearing as a dense white cloud, that can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

Health concerns continue to remain at the forefront, as the volcano is continuing to pump out between 6,000 and 9,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide each day.  

Cumbre Vieja has exploded twice previously: once in 1949 and again in 1971.

The first eruption took place on June 24, 1949, and lasted for more than a week.

The onset of the eruption was witnessed by a shepherd tending his flock on a flank of the volcanic mountainside and was, too, caused by earthquakes.

The 1971 eruption occurred at the southern end of Cumbre Vieja.


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