19:12 GMT25 July 2021
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    SURFSIDE (Sputnik) - Miami residents are providing support to nearby Surfside after the collapse of a residential building there and amid continuing search and rescue efforts for survivors.

    The owners of the local business Flowers For Heroes said they have been continually bringing flowers to memorial site of the collapsed building in Surfside.

    "We are taking the flowers on behalf of the initiative called Flowers For Heroes. With other local flower distributors we are taking we are taking them to the memorial to place them to honor all the victims and their families," owner Tania Sequera said.

    Sequera said she and her two daughters were loading their vehicle with multiple boxes and bouquets donated by local companies and distributors. However, she said they had to wait to deliver them until the authorities reopened the adjacent streets when President Joe Biden arrived in the area.

    "It’s very important to have solidarity with the people, with the families of the victims," Sequera said. "It’s a tragedy. I think it’s very important what is happening here and to heal. It is very painful."

    Sequera also said she and her daughters have been at the site of the incident since the very beginning and will remain there to provide any support to the affected people. She said she had resided in Surfside in the past and described it as a quiet and friendly place.

    Many people are delivering flowers themselves to the site. One local resident said that he comes there every day and has not lost hope that more people will be found alive in the rubble.

    "These people are my neighbours. These are the people I have seen in the supermarket and they deserve respect," the resident said. "We are in morning. Of course, we have hope and I have a lot of faith in God."

    Earlier on Thursday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said search and rescue efforts were halted overnight due to concerns about the standing structure's stability and will resume once it is safe to do so. She also said Biden’s arrival will not affect the operations on the ground.

    The death toll stands at 18 and 147 residents of the building are still unaccounted for, according to the local authorities.

     

    Tags:
    collapse, building, Miami, US
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