Relatives of the victims of the landslide in Miami visit the disaster area for the first time

The hope of finding survivors under the rubble of the partially collapsed building in Miami is disappointed. At the last briefing this Sunday, local authorities informed relatives that the death toll had risen to nine – just as it was in the morning – and 152 have disappeared, slightly less than the figure announced on Friday. For the first time since the tower block collapsed early Thursday, those waiting for the news of their relatives were able to visit the disaster area in Surfside. The firefighters decided to take her to see the progress that had been made in the nearly five days of search and rescue and to try to ease her anxiety.

About 350 rescuers are working to remove rubble from the 55 destroyed houses. Using dogs, ultrasound, microphones and drones, emergency teams search for human remains that will enable them to identify the missing. “Everyone who is needed is there and they are doing the work and we are continuing our efforts to find people alive,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, adding that authorities are holding talks Lead “very openly” with family members. An Israeli emergency team arrived on Sunday, and one from Mexico is due to join them today.

“The problem is not with resources, but with luck,” said Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett on several occasions. As is usual in Miami at this time of year, there were several thunderstorms that had to temporarily stop the search work in order not to endanger the rescuers. As of that Saturday, there were also a number of fires that could not identify their origin due to the debris. The smoke made it difficult for the emergency services to see and breathe. “Debris falls on them at work. We have structural engineers on site so that you don’t get injured, ”explains Cava.

The Grand Beach Hotel is at the center of uncertainty. Police officers, rescuers and firefighters come to the former family reunification center twice a day to keep the victims’ relatives informed. But the message does not get through and the desperation of those waiting for new information is heightened. In order to calm the fear as much as possible, the relatives were moved from the hotel to another building in front of the collapse area on Sunday afternoon. Located on balconies, they could watch the rubble and the work of the rescuers.

An Argentinian businesswoman passed out in the area where the press was inaccessible. When they returned to the Grand Beach Hotel, the woman, a friend of a couple who lived in the tower with their six-year-old daughter, apologized to the authorities for having caused her “frustration, helplessness, nervousness, fear and anxiety.” Let him know hers are down and she is up, he said in the briefing he broadcast on his Instagram account.

Families not only want to know about the victims, they also want to know more and more about the cause of the collapse that caused this tragedy. So far none have been released and the investigations by the experts could take months, according to the authorities. On Friday night it became known that the building directly on the sea had “significant structural damage” in the concrete slab below the pool deck and “many cracks and flakes” in the columns, park beams and walls, according to an engineering report drawn up in 2018.

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