Spain: La Palma ‘miracle’ house gets swallowed by erupting volcano lava

A house that miraculously survived an erupting volcano on La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands for days has now been consumed by lava.

The retired Danish couple who owned the house, Inge Bergedorf and Ranier Cocq, told Spanish media on Tuesday it had been swallowed by the flow.

"Everything is destroyed," Mr Cocq told the El Mundo newspaper.

The property became known as the "miracle house" after escaping lava flowing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

The lava has flattened hundreds of homes and forced the evacuation of more than 6,000 people since it started pouring from the volcano on 19 September.

On Tuesday night the lava reached the Atlantic Ocean, on the west coast of the island, raising fears of explosions and the release of toxic gases.

Mr Cocq and his wife were not on the island when their house succumbed to the volcano. They live on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark and have not visited La Palma since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

"We have lost everything on our beloved island," Mr Cocq told El Mundo. "It is very sad. Inge and I are devastated."

The modest house was built on a 32,200 sq ft plot of land the couple bought decades ago.

Had the volcano not erupted, the retired couple said they would have been packing their bags for a getaway in La Palma this autumn. "We used to go in October and November to collect the grapes that we have in our vineyards. But now there is nothing left," Mr Cocq said.

Many families on the island have lost their homes. On Wednesday the EU's Copernicus service estimated that the lava had destroyed 656 homes on its way to the ocean.

The Spanish authorities have declared La Palma a disaster zone, pledging financial support for all those affected by the volcanic activity.