Tributes for Fla. Condo Collapse Victims Pour in as Death Toll Rises to 16: 'Heartbroken'
"It's such a traumatic event... There was no time to plan, no time to say goodbye," said Rachel Spiegel, the daughter of missing woman Judy Spiegel
Family and friends of the Champlain Towers South condo collapse victims are paying tribute to their loved ones as search efforts move into their seventh day.
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava confirmed during a press conference that the death toll had risen to 16 people following the discovery of four bodies in the rubble.
Cava said 12 next of kin notifications have been completed and four families are still waiting to receive the update. The mayor also noted that 147 people remain missing while 139 people have been accounted for.
As authorities continue to search for those 147 people, loved ones of the deceased and missing have been paying tribute.
On Monday evening, hundreds of mourners gathered for a candlelight vigil on the beach near the condo to honor the victims, ABC News reported. A tribute wall has also been set up near the site, where flowers and photos of the missing and deceased are displayed over a fence.
Rachel Spiegel, 35, the daughter of missing woman Judy Spiegel, 65, previously told PEOPLE, "My mom is everywhere. Every event, everything. She is there. I'm just heartbroken."
"I always have hope because I just want to hug her and love her. I want the world to know how great of a person she is. How much her friends and family love her," Spiegel said. "The hardest part of this is not even me, it's my daughters. This is torture."
"My body has not stopped shaking. It's such a traumatic event. It's not a normal thing to have to deal with. It's so hard. There was no time to plan, no time to say goodbye," she added. "We all spoke Monday night. We all talked to her on the phone and said good night, I love you. She knows she was loved. But I need to tell her now."
Sarah Schulman, 21, a close friend of Ilan Naibryf, 21, who is still missing, told PEOPLE: "He's the most upbeat, always happy, always smiling person. He's just such an amazing person."
"He's one of those people that you feel fortunate to even know, it's such an honor to be able to have a person like him in my life and let alone to be able to call him a best friend of mine. He's just a person that he wants to make everyone around him happy," Schulman continued. "He's just such a positive light in all of our lives. He's just an amazing person."
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Phil Ferro, the nephew of Gladys Lozano, who was confirmed dead alongside her husband Antonio Lozano, also previously told PEOPLE that the couple was "found intact and together, which is something beautiful."
"They were going to be married 59 years at the end of July," Ferro said of his aunt, 79, and uncle, 83. "My cousins both were very much more at peace. I don't know if you can accept the situation but they understood it and were able to compartmentalize and start moving forward."
In addition to friends and family, members of the Florida community have been showing their support to the victims.
Sen. Rick Scott wrote on Twitter: "Pray for the families of the lost. Pray for those still missing. Pray for our heroes on the ground risking their safety for search & rescue. Pray for Surfside. We still have hope. Florida is #SurfsideStrong."
Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez III, the director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, wrote in a tweet of his own: "No matter how long these last few days may seem, it doesn't compare to the pain of losing a loved one or the uncertainty families and friends are facing. Together, we must remain strong. #SurfsideStrong"
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First responders announced on Tuesday they had discovered new tunnels in the rubble, which they believe may lead to more bodies, according to CNN.
"These tunnels that we found right now were almost the first to be big enough to enable people to stay between them," Col. Golan Vach, commander of the Israeli National Rescue Unit, told the outlet.
Search and rescue teams have spent the last few days looking in the spaces between the collapsed balconies and for bedrooms believed to be buried under 13-16 feet of concrete, per CNN.
Mayor Cava also confirmed on Tuesday that President Joe Biden is set to visit Surfside on Thursday to visit with affected families and first responders.