(CNN) — Dozens of people remain unaccounted for Sunday after the collapse of part of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, authorities have said.
Search and rescue teams have been feverishly scouring the site since shortly after 55 of the building’s 136 units fell. Nine people are dead, officials have said.
Here’s what we know about some of the missing.
Family of Paraguay’s first lady
The sister and brother-in-law of Paraguay’s first lady, Silvana López Moreira, were staying with their three children at the building, and Paraguay’s ministry of external relations has not been able to locate the family, the ministry told CNN en Español.
That family — including Sophia López Moreira and her husband Luis Pettengill — was in the US to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, Paraguay’s foreign minister said.
The Paraguayan first lady, along with her parents and her brother-in-law’s parents, arrived in Florida on Thursday after the collapse, the Paraguayan President’s office said.
Six Paraguayans in all are unaccounted for, the ministry tweeted.
9 Argentines, including a couple and their daughter
Argentines Andrés Galfrascoli, 45, his partner Fabián Nuñez, 55, and their daughter, Sofía Galfrascoli Núñez, 6, are among the missing, according to a friend.
The three were on vacation in Florida, staying at the condo of a friend, Nicolás Fernández.
Fernández told CNN en Español he spent time with the couple Wednesday night and made plans to meet up Thursday morning.
“We don’t know anything, we don’t have any closure and that’s what hurts,” Fernández told CNN.
Fernández has looked for his friends in local hospitals with no luck.
Nine Argentines were missing as of Thursday afternoon, the country’s consulate in Miami said on Twitter.
A relative of Chile’s ex-president
The first cousin of former Chilean President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s father is among those missing, his daughter told CNN Chile.
Since the collapse, Pascale Bonnefoy has not been able to communicate with her father, who lived in the part of the building that fell, she said.
“We haven’t been able to have specific information,” Bonnefoy said, adding the whereabouts of her father’s wife also aren’t known. She did not specify his wife’s nationality.
The Chilean consulate in Miami has offered to support the family in the search, Bonnefoy said. “I contacted the consul, and he offered his help, but since there is no information either, there is not much that can be done.”
So far, Chilean authorities have not reported missing nationals after the collapse. CNN is trying to contact the Chilean consulate in Miami.
Six Colombian citizens are unaccounted for following the collapse, Colombian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Camila Mugno told CNN on Friday.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether they were inside the building at the moment of the collapse. Records indicated that the six had been staying there, the foreign ministry’s office said.
The six Colombian citizens include a family of three from Medellin, and other travelers, Mugno told CNN.
Venezuelans also missing
“At the moment we are handling information from six Venezuelans not located in the collapse of the building in Surfside,” Brian Fincheltub, Venezuela’s consular affairs director, tweeted.
Jewish community members are missing, rabbis say
Some members from The Shul of Bal Harbour synagogue are among the people unaccounted for, Rabbi Sholom Lipskar told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“This is something that transcends our capacity for understanding,” Lipskar said about the collapse. “It’s a reality, we accept it and we have to learn as we do in our culture of resilience to move forward.”
“The only thing that helps in these times is kindness and empathy and togetherness, because you can’t take away the reality,” Lipskar said.
Members of the synagogue believed to be missing are Nancy Kress Levin, Jay Kleinman, Frankie Kleinman, Arie Leib, Yisroel Tzvi Yosef and Tzvi Doniel, according to Lipskar.
Rabbi Zalman Lipskar told CNN’s Randi Kaye he believes at least 20 people associated with the Shul of Bal Harbour are missing. Their ages range from 20 to 60 years old.
He said he spoke with one woman who believes that she is missing seven or eight of her family members. He told CNN he also knows of a couple, both 26 years old, and a doctor who is a member of his synagogue, who are missing as well.
The rabbi said an older couple — the parents of his childhood friend — are also missing.
“It’s just been heart-wrenching … not knowing, and not being able to really deal with this magnitude of the tragedy that’s unfolding,” the rabbi said.
Rabbi Eliot Pearlson, who leads Temple Menorah, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “It’s hard to explain. This doesn’t happen in America. It’s doesn’t happen in Miami Beach. It doesn’t happen in our homes. And it’s very difficult to comprehend how it’s possible.”
Pearlson said that he saw people come together in compassion following the collapse, and his temple will host an emergency prayer service on Friday.
Three generations of one family from his temple are among those unaccounted for, he said.
He added, “I have to tell you, when I walked past ground zero, there was row after row after row of firefighters who are literally waiting to rush into a building that could fall at any time.”
Uruguayan citizens missing
Three Uruguayan citizens are among the missing, according to the consulate in Miami.
The consulate is in contact with local authorities and with the families of the people missing, said Consul General Eduardo Bouzout.
“The relatives are very concerned, of course, because they have not been able to contact them since they have knowledge of this tragic collapse,” said Bouzout in audio shared by the consulate with CNN.
Missing mother and grandmother
A woman who said creaking noises woke her up in the building the night before the collapse is missing, her son, Pablo Rodriguez, said.
Both his mother and grandmother were in the section that collapsed first, and the family hasn’t heard from them, Rodriguez told CNN.
“You always hold out hope,” he said. “Until we definitively know, we are trying to stay hopeful. But after seeing the video of the collapse it’s increasingly difficult, because they were in that section that was pancaked in, in the first section that fell in, and then the other building fell on top of it, so it’s not easy to watch.”
Rodriguez said he and his mother didn’t really think anything about the creaking noise.
“It was just a comment she made offhand, that’s why she woke up, and then she wasn’t able to go back to sleep afterward — but now in hindsight, you always wonder,” he said.
The family is still holding out hope for good news, Rodriguez said.
“We are praying for a miracle, but at the same time trying to be as realistic about it as possible,” he said. “Until we definitely know, there is hope. It’s just dwindling by the minute.”
The Patel family
Vishal Patel, his wife Bhavna Patel, and their 1-year-old daughter Aishani Patel are believed to be among the missing, their niece Sarina Patel told CNN, adding that Bhavna Patel is four-months pregnant.
Sarina Patel told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday she last spoke to her family on Father’s Day.
“I had actually called them to tell them I had just booked a flight to come visit because they’ve been asking me to come see their home and to meet their daughter. I haven’t met her due to the pandemic.”
They were home at the time the collapse took place, Patel told Cuomo.
“We have tried calling them countless of times and there’s just been no answers, text messages, nothing,” she said. “They haven’t contacted anybody.”
Kevin Spiegel, who lived in Champlain Towers with his wife, Judy, said he was on a business trip in California when the building collapsed.
When he woke up in the middle of the night, he had an emergency notice on his phone, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and he notified the rest of his family.
“We’re very hopeful that the community here will be able to find our loved ones,” said Josh Spiegel, Judy’s son, who lives in Orlando.
“My mom is an absolutely amazing person,” Josh Spiegel said. “She’s a fighter, and she fights for every single one of us, and we won’t stop … fighting until we find her,” he said.
“We have a lot of hope that Judy is still alive, and still there,” said Kevin Spiegel. “She’s an amazing person.”
Her daughter, Rachel Spiegel, last received a text from her mother around 9 p.m. Wednesday — roughly four and a half hours before the collapse, she told CNN.
That text was about a princess dress that Judy ordered for one of Rachel’s daughters. The family has been Judy’s main focus, Rachel said.
Judy has a bond with her grandchildren, and “the other kids that we hang out with, they love Grandma Judy — everybody calls her Grandma Judy,” Rachel said.
Cassondra Stratton, the wife of Michael Stratton, senior policy advisor with the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, is among those still believed to be missing, his law firm’s spokesperson Lara Day told CNN.
Garciella Cattarossi and some of her relatives
Garciella Cattarossi, her daughter Estella and Cattarossi’s elderly parents are missing after the collapse, Cattarossi’s friend Mariela Porras told CNN on Friday.
When Porras learned of the collapse and realized it was Cattarossi’s building, she called Cattarossi but got no answer, she said.
She described Cattarossi as a talented photographer who has been working to get her real estate license and “is just a wonderful person trying to always do the right thing.”
3 members of Velasquez family
Three members of the Velasquez family are also believed missing after the building collapse, according to family members.
David Velasquez posted on Facebook that his parents, Julio Cesar Velasquez, 67, and Angela Maria Velasquez, 60, live in the 12-story residential building.
His sister Theresa Velasquez, 36, had come to visit her parents and was staying with them at the time of the collapse.
David Velasquez’s wife confirmed that they were missing in a text message to CNN. She said the family requests privacy at this time.
Parents say their son is missing
Ronit Felszer and Carlos Naibryf told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday night that their son, Ilan Naibryf, is missing.
Ilan and his girlfriend were in town for a funeral and staying in the condo at an apartment her family had, Naibryf’s parents said.
Describing him as a “loyal friend, a passionate, good, kind, generous young man,” Felszer said their son is turning 22 in September and due to graduate the University of Chicago as a physics major next May.
Her father is missing
Debbie Hill says her father is also missing in the building collapse.
“Not knowing is the big issue,” she told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday. “I have a relative who’s down there at the center and he gets more information off the news than he does being down there.”
“When they show the live views, you don’t realize how massive this is until you see a person standing on the top of the pile,” she said.
Hill said her father was in one of the top floors of the building.
“My dad was in air freight sales most of his life,” she said. “He had a lot of friends throughout the country, throughout the world. He loved what he did, he enjoyed fishing, he liked to travel. He was just getting ready to retire.”
“He was going to be training somebody that’s replacing him in the fall and then we got the phone call and everything in our world changed,” Hill said.
An aunt and uncle missing
Bettina Obias also said her aunt and uncle, Maria and Claudio Bonnefoy, are also missing.
She told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that as soon as she heard about the collapse, she went to the site herself.
“As soon as I saw this, I fell apart,” she said, referring to the rubble.
She said that while she’s trying to be realistic, she also is holding on to “a sliver of hope.”
“I know in my heart somebody there is still alive and if it’s not my aunt or uncle, I hope it’s somebody’s father, or somebody’s son,” Obias said. “I’m hoping that there are many survivors.”
She said her uncle was a retired United Nations legal counsel and her aunt was an International Monetary Fund budget official.
Gil and Betty Guerra
Gil Guerra and his wife, Betty Guerra, lived on the ninth floor of the building, his daughter said, and there has been no word from them since the tragedy.
“We’re doing our best to stay hopeful,” Michelle Guerra told CNN via Facebook Messenger Saturday. “That’s what they would want.”
Her father and stepmother were in the process of moving out of apartment 910 and had just gotten furniture at their new apartment on Monday, she said.
The couple was renting, and the owner was in the process of selling the unit, according to Guerra, who said she said she last spoke to her dad on Father’s Day
“This is all so horrific and bizarre. They are both such caring, hardworking people,” Guerra said.
“They only got married late 2017 and have been living it up like two teenagers in love traveling the world and eating all they can together,” she said. “They lived a full time together.”
Magaly “Maggie” Ramsey missed a phone call from her mother on Wednesday night, thinking she could just call back in the morning. But she hasn’t gotten the chance.
Ramsey’s mother, 80-year-old Magaly Delgado, lived on the ninth floor of the building for more than 10 years. Ramsey said her mother was trying to “live her best life” in Champlain Towers South condosby the water.
“She loved the building, she loved the community,” Ramsey said of her mother.
Ramsey learned of the collapse on the news, she said.
“Never in a thousand years did I think that was her building or that her building is just not there anymore,” she said. “But that’s how we found out, so we quickly packed up and headed down.”
Delgado, who was originally from Cuba, was a “woman of faith” who taught Ramsey to have faith as well, and while the family is “burdened with such despair,” they have faith “in the miracles that God can create,” Ramsey said.
“The worst thing is not to know,” Ramsey said. “Knowing, whatever the outcome may be, you hope that they didn’t suffer if something did occur. But knowing is a little bit healing in itself.”
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