July 24, 2021

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Twenty-two people have died and 126 are missing after a landslide in Florida threatened by a tropical storm.

A woman prays as rescuers search the wreckage on July 2, 2021, at the somewhat collapsed site of the southern campus of the Champlain Towers on Surface in Florida. afp_tickers

This content was released on 02 July 2021 – 20:44

(AFP)

Rescuers found two victims of a building collapse in Florida on Friday, bringing a total of 22 people missing and 126 missing, while searching for survivors amid the rubble and the threat of a tropical storm. Southeastern U.S.

“We found the bodies of two more people during today’s search,” Miami-Tate County Mayor Daniel Levine Cava told a news conference that he had signed an order authorizing the demolition of part of the building. Citing security concerns.

“Our priority continues to be search and rescue. I want to be very clear about that. We are still evaluating all possible impacts and are actually determining the best time frame to start demolition,” the official stressed.

The tragedy occurred on June 24 when the 12-storey block of the Champline Towers South campus, located in the town of Surbide, north of Miami Beach, collapsed.

A few hours ago, it was reported that two other bodies had been found, leading to 20 deaths. One of them is the 7-year-old daughter of a local firefighter.

Local 10 TV channel reported that the girl’s body was handed over to her father by rescue workers who extracted it from the rubble. According to the report, the girl’s father covered his daughter’s body with a jacket and carried a small American flag on a stretcher.

Dozens of first responders continued to search the site after operations resumed Thursday afternoon after a 14-hour hiatus due to site security concerns.

The number of unidentified persons dropped from 140 to 126 after the tragedy, with many believed to have been in the building at the time of the crash and were confirmed by authorities, according to authorities, Levin Kawa.

– Elsa darkens the horizon-

On the ninth day of the search, the first responders, supported by colleagues from across the country and from Israel and Mexico, continued to work amidst the heat, high humidity and frequent downpours.

Thunderstorms have made work harder, which will be further complicated by heavy rains from tropical storm Elsa in the coming days.

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis said Elsa, which strengthened on Friday morning with a hurricane over Barbados, said contingency plans were being adjusted as it could affect the region.

“Tropical cyclone-winds are likely to begin in South Florida on Sunday,” Robert Molleda of the U.S. Meteorological Service told reporters. “Most likely it will be Monday.”

Elsa “is another significant obstacle on the horizon,” Miami-Tate fire chief Alan Kominski told a news conference at the same press conference, pointing to the danger posed by the south building of the Sampline Towers, which will not collapse.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who declared a state of emergency in Florida last week to extend federal assistance, extended security and safety measures Friday to clear debris.

The president said the families of the victims were living “in hell” when he visited Surface with the first lady, Jill Biden, on Thursday to offer her condolences to the survivors and relatives of the victims and thank those who were rescued.

No one has been taken alive since last Thursday, except for a 15-year-old boy who was rescued shortly after the crash.

The residents of the collapsed building were Latin Americans, Jews and Americans from the Northeast.

One of the 20 dead was identified as Venezuela and Uruguay-Venezuela.

Nine Argentines, six Colombians, six Paraguayans, four Venezuelans, three Uruguayans and one Chile have gone missing by embassies. But press reports also reported unaccounted for information from Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

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