More than 200 rescuers searching the rubble of a collapsed condo tower in Surfside, Florida, are racing to remove as much debris as they can ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa on Tuesday. Four more victims were pulled from the rubble Tuesday afternoon, bringing the death toll to 36.
Officials say 109 people are still unaccounted for from the collapsed tower, and that detectives are working to contact family members to make sure the list is complete.
No survivors have been found in the rubble since the day of the collapse, and Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said Tuesday that rescuers have not come across many areas where survivors could be trapped.
"We're not coming across void spaces or livable spaces in the rubble pile," Cominsky said. "...unfortunately, we're not seeing those positive things."
Twenty-one of the 36 people killed in the collapse have been identified. They are:
- Hilda Noriega, 92
- Antonio Lozano, 83
- Leon Oliwkowicz, 80
- Magaly Elena Delgado, 80
- Gladys Lozano, 79
- Christina Beatriz Elvira, 74
- Maria Obias-Bonnefoy, 69
- Tzvi Ainsworth, 68
- Ingrid Ainsworth, 66
- David Epstein, 58
- Frank Kleiman, 55
- Staci Dawn Fang, 54
- Manuel LaFont, 54
- Marcus Joseph Guara, 52
- Michael David Altman, 50
- Anna Ortiz, 46
- Anaely Rodriguez, 42
- Luis Bermudez, 26
- Andreas Giannitsopoulous, 21
- Lucia Guara, 10
- Emma Guara, 4
Officials have also confirmed that the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter was also among those killed in the collapse. That girl's name has not been made public at the request of the family.
Levine Cava says officials will continue operating under search and rescue orders but added Tuesday that the families of those still missing are beginning to prepare for the worst.
"They know what is happening," she said. "They understand that the news of their loved ones may be tragic loss...they're prepared for it. Everybody will be ready when it's time to move to the next phase."
Surfside lies on the eastern beaches of Florida and Elsa is expected to make landfall on the state's western coast. However, outer bands of the storm could bring heavy rainfall and winds to the Miami area, which could imperil already dangerous rescue efforts.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Tuesday morning that rescuers are continuing work amid the storm.
“Active search and rescue continued throughout the night, and these teams continue through extremely adverse and challenging conditions. Through the rain and through the wind, they have continued searching," she said.
Officials said that search efforts were paused for about 30 minutes around 1 a.m. ET, when lightning struck near the area. There were also pauses during the day when high winds swept through the area.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett added that the heavy winds were affecting the use of heavy machinery.
"The wind is hampering large cranes handling very heavy concrete," he said.