Ada Monnikendam, the house’s builder, told El Mundo she was elated to see photos of the house still standing on social media.
“I know that house! My husband and I built it!” she said.
Monnikendam called the home’s owners, a retired Danish couple in their 80s, who used to visit a few times a year but hadn’t traveled to the island since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They wept with joy.
“Even though we can’t go now, we’re relieved that it’s still standing,” Monnikendam said the owners told her.
Much of the island was not so lucky. Dark rock and embers engulfed the area, plowing through homes and swimming pools, appearing to devour the island’s roads and greenery.
The effects of the eruptions may only get worse as the lava flow slows. On Thursday, officials said it had decreased to an approximately 12-foot-per-hour creep, raising fears it would stop moving entirely and grow thicker, leaving more of the island destroyed, the Associated Press reported. Walls of lava have grown 50 feet high in some areas, and the rock has swallowed at least 410 acres of land.
Residents lost not only their homes but their livelihoods, according to Reuters. Banana farmers rushed to pile their trucks high with as much of their crops as they could before evacuating. But not everything could be saved.
“Some farms have already been covered,” Sergio Caceres, manager of producers association Asprocan, told Reuters, adding that 15 percent of the island’s annual banana production was jeopardized.