The president of Paraguay's sister-in-law and her family are among the 99 people still missing in Miami after deadly partial collapse of the oceanfront condo building near Miami, officials said Thursday. Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and their three young children are still missing.
The report was confirmed by Paraguay's foreign minister Euclides Acevedo in an interview on Thursday. The family owns a condo inside the Champlain Towers South beachfront building that collapsed at about 1.30am on Thursday morning in Miami's Surfside neighborhood. Besides, a sixth Paraguayan national, Lady Luna Villalba, was also missing, the nation's foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.
Moreira is the sister of Paraguay's first lady, Silvana López Moreira, and sister-in-law of President Mario Abdo Benítez, according to the Daily Mail. Paraguay's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on its website on Thursday that it was monitoring the situation and six Paraguayans were among those missing.
According to reports the entire Moriera family was inside the condo when the building collapsed. The family are said to have received their Covid-19 vaccines just hours before the collapse. Interestingly, Thursday was also the birthday of Moriera's husband Luis.
So far, there have been no reports of the missing Moriera family. Also, Bonitez is yet to comment on his missing sister-in-law's family. The foreign minister said that the consul was "frantically" trying to make contact and authorities were "going through all of Miami's hospitals."
Another woman from Paraguay, Lady Luna Villalba, is in the aftermath of the disaster. Police said on Thursday afternoon that 99 people linked to the building remain accounted for, although 102 others have since been marked as safe.
Families Look for Their Dear Ones
Part of the building in Surfside, Fla., just north of Miami Beach, collapsed and turned into debris around 1:30 am on Thursday, trapping sleeping residents beneath a mountain of rubble. Fanatic relatives have since been trying to locate their near and dear one. Families have also started sharing images of their missing relatives as authorities launched a huge search and rescue mission to trawl the rubble for any survivors.
Many of the missing and their photos were being compiled by CBS4 reporter Frances Wang, who has spoken to friends and family.
Besides, the Paraguayan family of Moreira, also missing is prominent Argentinean plastic surgeon Andres Galfrasconi, his partner and their newly adopted 6-year-old daughter, according to the Daily Mail.
Galfrasconi and his family were visiting Miami to get their Covid-19 vaccinations. Official reports say 99 people are still missing with one confirmed dead.
The exact cause of the collapse is still not known although experts who had studied the building said that the building which was made in 1980 was unstable and had been sinking since the 1990s.