Miami Condo Search Continues As Tropical Storm Elsa Nears

The search-and-rescue operation at the condo complex collapse in Miami has resumed, as the area braces for the impact of Tropical Storm Elsa that has already caused devastation in the Caribbean.

A section of the Champlain Towers, a condo building located at 8777 Collins Avenue in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at around 1:00 a.m. on Thursday June 24, killing at least 28 people.

After 10 days of the rescue operation, the remaining portion of the building was demolished at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, causing the rescue efforts to be temporarily suspended as teams investigated the wreckage to make sure it was safe to continue.

Footage shared by Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue showed that the rescue operation restarted on Monday, as the teams work to find any survivors before Tropical Storm Elsa hits the area and potentially slows down the search.

The clip showed the rescue teams searching the rubble amid clearly visible rain and heavy wind, as the fire department wrote on Twitter: "Despite the arrival of inclement weather due to Tropical Storm Elsa, first responders continue working on the debris pile of the Champlain Towers building collapse in Surfside."

The National Hurricane Center confirmed in the early hours of Tuesday morning that Elsa had reached the Florida Straits, as the agency said that the conditions are "beginning to deteriorate across the Florida Keys."

Here are the 11PM EDT July 5 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Elsa, which has recently emerged back over water after crossing Cuba today. For more details: https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/ovN6qmoxiV

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 6, 2021

The agency then warned of a "life-threatening storm surge" along Florida's west coast on Tuesday and Wednesday, as a Storm Surge Warning has been issued for the area.

The tropical storm has already caused devastation in the Caribbean, as three people were killed when the extreme weather passed over the Dominican Republic, Haiti and St. Lucia, leaving three people dead and causing mudslides and flooding.

The second part of the Surfside condo complex was demolished on Sunday partly because officials were concerned that winds of up to 60mph caused by Elsa could have toppled the building, causing danger for the rescuers and any possible survivors.

Rescue crews have so far recovered 28 bodies at the site, while 117 people are still unaccounted for, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

No one has been pulled alive from the wreckage since the early hours of the rescue process, but there has not yet been any indication that the search-and-rescue operation plans to end soon.

On Monday evening, Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said that the demolition on Sunday has opened up more room for teams to continue the rescue operation, as he confirmed that the "site is staffed with a tremendous amount of search and rescue workers."

The mayor said that "the heavy equipment is now able to move around the site as needed. The looming threat of that building, the dangerous situation where debris could fall down is now eliminated, so we are operating at 100 percent capacity. And I am very excited about that and I sense that the families were too."

Burkett said that the "operation seems to be moving much faster and will continue 24 hours a day for the indefinite future until everybody is pulled out of that site."

Newsweek has contacted Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue for comment.