A state of emergency has been declared in Florida after at least four people died and several others were injured in a 12-storey residential building collapse in Miami-Dade County.
The governor’s office said 100 people are missing after the structural collapse of Champlain Towers, a residential condominium at Collins Avenue in Surfside, South Florida, in the early morning hours of Thursday.
U.S. media put the number of people missing at 159. They reportedly include Latin American migrants.
Paraguayan First Lady Silvana López Moreira’s relatives are among 6 Paraguayan nationals missing, reports said.
37 people were pulled from the rubble, while rescue personnel are searching for survivors. Miami-Dade Mayor Danielle Levine-Cava said 102 people have been located.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who visited the accident site, said, “It is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a massive structure like that.”
He signed an executive order to provide assistance to the families and community who were affected by the tragedy.
Law enforcement and other emergency personnel have been deployed to the area following the declaration of the state of emergency.
A family reunification center has been set up at 9301 Collins Avenue.
President Joe Biden approved the Florida Emergency Declaration. He ordered Federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts.
The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been authorized to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
The reasons for the building collapse are yet to be known.
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