Appeal to help Harlow woman after she fled home following volcanic eruption

News / Thu 23rd Sep 2021 at 07:34am

A HARLOW woman living on the island of La Palma was given 10 minutes to pack her possessions and memories into a car as molten rock and lava bore down on her family home after a volcanic eruption.

“The lava is passing through it now,” Nikki Batley, 46, told i on Wednesday afternoon as she choked back tears. “My house will be under lava in the next two three hours, I never thought this would happen.”

Ms Batley lives in Todoque, the last village between the lava still spewing from Sunday’s volcanic eruption and the Atlantic Ocean.

She ran from her house with her son, 11, and her 81-year-old mother-in-law when the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted. “We got out really fast and left everything behind. It was terrifying, I honestly have never in my entire life felt so terrified,” she said.

“When the mouth of the volcano opened, it is literally directly above us, I was on the phone to my dad, it felt like a big earthquake.

“My partner immediately called saying, it’s exploded, it’s right above where you are, get out now. I had to get my mother-in-law, keep her calm, get my dog and my son and we legged it.”

English teacher Ms Batley has lived in La Palma since 1998 after moving from Harlow. She met her partner, Pedro Castro Ramos, 15 years ago and together they live with their son, John Castro Batley, in Pedro’s mother’s house of her childhood.

As lava gushed from the Canary Islands’ first volcanic eruption on land in 50 years, Ms Batley could do nothing but watch helplessly as she left her home behind.

A fundraiser page has been opened up in order or help Nikki.


Many people remember Nikki from her days performing at The Square.

Nikki said: “I’ve set up this gofundme page as the next few months are going to be difficult for me and my family financially.

The lava seems to have slowed down, which is saying something as it was already moving painfully slowly towards our home. This means our home is still standing for now, but is directly in the path of where the lava will essentially go. We are all fine physically, but emotionally all of us are battered. It’s very hard to just sit and wait to see how your life is going to change.

We have an apartment until 30th September, after that we’re unsure where we will go. We will need to find a new home to rent and possibly replace some of our essential belongings and start building our lives back up.

A lot of you have asked if you can help in any way, as we will need help, I’m not at all ashamed to accept
it in these circumstances.

I just want to add my gratitude to everyone that has messaged me or called me to make sure we’re ok, or offered to help us out. I am deeply touched by the kindness, support and love you’ve all been throwing at me constantly since this began. Any donation, big or small is greatly appreciated.

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1 Comment for Appeal to help Harlow woman after she fled home following volcanic eruption:

2021-09-25 14:22:35

What about their house insurance?

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