SURSEIDE, Florida – Families waited to hear news of their missing loved ones Thursday as rescue efforts continued after an ocean-side 12-storey apartment collapsed into a pile of rubble, leaving residents trapped, at least one person died and dozens crammed into a room with gym chairs and mats. Blue on the ground at a reunification site set up by the American Red Cross. Family members and the building’s residents listened to the police news in anxious silence. Young children sleep in blankets. Surf Mayor Charles Burkett confirmed at least one death and Miami-Dade Police Chief Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III told families at the reunification center that 99 people are missing. Miami-born Pablo Rodriguez, 40, said his 64-year-old mother and 88-year-old grandmother lived in the wing that collapsed, and Rodriguez told USA TODAY he spoke to his mom on Wednesday to discuss the family’s plans for the weekend. Grandma and Grandma were going to pick up Rodriguez’s 6-year-old son and spend the weekend together. Rodriguez was planning to surprise his grandmother for her 89th birthday next month with a brunch in a nice restaurant, and Rodriguez said crying, “I came to the center, but I have no hope.” “Literally a pie”: an apartment building near Miami has partially collapsed; 35 people pulled out from under the rubble. At least one researcher died: Collapsed Miami apartment has been sinking into the ground at an alarming rate Since the 1990s, Nicholas Fernandez has waited for news of close family friends who lived in the collapsing section of the building. “Since this happened, I’ve been calling them nonstop, just trying to ring their cell phones as often as we can to help the rescue operation to see if they can hear the cell phones,” Fernandez said. Authorities described a desperate scene in which rescuers tried to rescue a child trapped in a garage that had been abandoned. Discover it through a rescue operation. The Miami Herald reports that Frank Rollason, director of emergency management for Miami-Dade, told the newspaper’s rescuers that they rescued a mother and her baby, but that the mother’s leg had to be amputated. middle “What happened?” A woman cried repeatedly as she rushed toward her family, who were wiping tears from their eyes. Lisa Melenciano, 16, said she was in the hospital to check in to Devin Gonzalez, her female volleyball teammate who was having surgery. Devin’s mother, whose teammate Milenciano said Devin was protected during the meltdown, also had surgery, and Milenciano said, “I see her as a sister.” Witnesses described the sound of alarms, and survivors screaming as they ran from the building. Survivors said they heard signs of a collapse and an attempt to escape from the building early Thursday morning. Surfside is a few miles north of Miami Beach, and Jeff Bias, 60, was staying with his wife at the Bluegreen Vacations hotel next door. It looked like a “massive hurricane” and saw dust covering the sky. Then the windows vibrated and the alarms went off. The couple ran downstairs and found dust in the hallway. Payas described 15 seconds of silence outside before the screaming started, and said, “Suddenly people started screaming for help.” “I could see people on the balconies shouting, ‘Help me,'” one survivor, former surf deputy mayor Barry Cohen, 63, said he and his wife were asleep when he heard what he thought was a thunderclap. When the couple opened their door, they found “a pile of rubble.” “I couldn’t get out of my door,” Cohen said. “A big pit of rubble.” Cohen and his wife left for the basement, where they found rising water, before going back upstairs to scream for help. The firefighters arrived To their window with a cherry picker and taken to safety, Moshe Kandioti, 67, felt the building shake. When he ran down the stairs, he stopped to help an elderly woman on a slope, Kandioti, who is from Israel and has lived in Miami for 40 years, said the shock brought him back to a while. His service in the Israeli army during the war. The Yom Kippur War in 1973, when his job on the southern border between Israel and Egypt was to retrieve bodies. “The thing is, when you get traumatized, your brain doesn’t respond in the same way,” Kandiyoti said. That comes later. Kandiyoti said Global Coin Collector, he’s going to miss coins Its more mineral than others. Rosalia Cordaro and her husband Francesco left their apartment days ago to return to Staten Island, New York, home. They learned early in the morning that they called their dream house overlooking the ocean. “We’re only here because we came to work,” Rosalia Cordaro told USA TODAY. “I’ve been on the phone all day, trying to reach people,” she said. “I hope they’re still alive.” Cordaros bought the unit on the 10th floor about two years ago as a smuggler. He’s spent three straight months in Miami and would have been there this week had it not been for urgent business needs in New York. “It was a building,” Cordaro said. Beautiful and nice community.” “It was our home, and we lost it.” Crowds of law enforcement officers gathered around the pile of rubble, and an Orthodox Jewish rescue team, called Hatzala, was at the scene in the area, which has a large Jewish and Israeli population. Synagogue members arrived with bottled water, biscuits, fruit and chips for staff and survivors, and Consul General of Israel Maor Elbaz Starinsky was one of the first to arrive and talk to the affected families.Elbaz-Starinsky said reports with the consulate, but Israel offered rescue teams to help with recovery efforts, as The city has long been an enclave of the Argentine-American community.Sylvana Juarez, 49, lives near the apartment building and said her daughter heard a loud explosion.When a woman was crying nearby, Juarez said Three of her best friends and a young child are missing. Wendy Jane Lewis, a caregiver for a family who lives in the building, arrives, crying. “I can see this is where the unit was; this is where their apartment was,” she said, staring at the ruins. “I spend over 10 hours here; they are my family.” Contributing: Ken Altucker and Christian Ortega, USA TODAY; The Associated Press Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern. Follow national reporter Romina Ruiz on Twitter at @RominaAdi.