MIAMI: They hope to find the missing – US – International

“You have to have faith. I was in Haiti, and seven days later we took a girl out. You have to have faith. We do everything we can to get their relatives out alive, “said David Cook, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau. Andy Alvarez, Early Thursday morning, June 24, he struggled to lead a 270 rescue team searching for survivors amid the rubble of the south tower of the Surfline Towers complex. .

(Background: Miami, between hope and despair after the building collapsed)

“We will be here as long as we need to,” Alvarez assured the dozens of people gathered in front of the community center in the area, the “reunification center” of the disaster. The collapse of the 12-storey building.

On Thursday, the work was mind boggling, but possible. The rescuers were divided into four-hour shifts and two important areas: the still-standing area of ​​the mountain and sea level parking lot where the 55 destroyed apartments were located. Those on the outside had a huge job physically.

(Interest: Florida building collapse ‘felt like an earthquake’)

The dogs were trained to locate survivors, many of whom belonged to the Labrador breed, and they were careful to carefully remove debris as they often move their hands with bare hands. The tasks of the second group are less difficult, but more dangerous. The area where all the vehicles of the occupants of the apartment were left was flooded. Handed over to luck, they accelerated the rest of the structure and opened the tunnels in the hope that someone would find air bags in the trap.

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Three days later early Thursday morning after the initial three they found no one alive. Rescue workers have been experiencing intermittent rain since Friday, which can sometimes be accompanied by lightning and loud thunder. Nothing unusual at this time of year, but a big problem If there is a chance of lightning at a distance of at least eight miles (12.8 km) they should stop all outdoor activities. You have to wait half an hour after each lightning strike.

(read more: Medellin’s family did not appear after the building collapsed in Miami)

As if that wasn’t enough, there has been a fire in the rubble since Friday morning.

“You can see the flames are spreading and appearing in different areas,” said Daniel Levine Kawa, Miami-Tate County Mayor. “We are doing everything we can to find out where the fire started and fix the problem so we can continue the search, but so far we do not know where it is. We use infrared detection systems (temperature readings), water and foam. We used heavy machinery to open the trench to isolate and continue the rescue operation, but nothing has changed so far. ”

Nothing has changed and that describes what happens with fire. This includes the most painful part of the disaster. Statistics remain the same as of Friday morning: 159 are missing, 127 are alive and four are dead.

Rescue operations after building collapse in Miami.

Photo:

AFP / Chandan Khanna

Help is coming from different places

Some people know how difficult this type of work is, like the Mexican search and rescue team “Las Topos”, which is famous for the heroic work that rocked its country during earthquakes. A group came to Miami last night. Experts from other parts of the country have also traveled, and international assistance is expected. Rescue teams from the Miami-Tate Fire Department, the South Florida City Search and Rescue Team and those from neighboring cities and counties are already exhausted.

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Initial changes were reduced to 15 minutes yesterday as risk increased for everyone. Outsiders are now suffering from the effects of a horrible odor, which is associated with tar on the site and is considered toxic. In addition, debris is more slippery from rain. Those under the building will know that with each passing minute the structure grows weaker and weaker.

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In addition to physical help, moral help has arrived. Legendaries, a group of religious men centered on prayer, came to the scene of the disaster to pray for the rescued and for the success of their mission.

Even as English begins to translate the phrase “hope must be lost last”, families are losing the illusion of finding their loved ones alive. “At this point, it’s a miracle we’re waiting,” said Colombian Adriana Lafont, who said her ex-husband and father of two children, Manuel Lafont, were missing. Even so, families call those who risk their lives to find their relatives “angels.”

(Continue reading: What do you know about the collapsed building in Miami?)

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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