Biden approves Florida emergency declaration after building collapse

Biden approves Florida emergency declaration after building collapse
# 25 June 2021 09:58 (UTC +04:00)

U.S. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration in the state of Florida and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts after a building collapse near Miami left at least one dead and nearly 100 missing, APA reports citing Reuters.

"The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts," the White House said on Friday.

Rescue crews picked through tons of rubble on Thursday looking for survivors after the collapse of part of the oceanfront apartment tower in Surfside near Miami.

Search teams detected sounds of banging and other noises but no voices coming from the mounds of debris hours after a large section of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, a barrier island town across Biscayne Bay from the city, crumbled to the ground, authorities said.

What caused the 40-year-old high-rise to tumble into a heap in a matter of seconds was not immediately known, though local officials said the 12-story tower was undergoing roof construction and other repairs.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters on Thursday 99 people remained unaccounted for some 18 hours after the collapse, though some may not have been in the building at the time.

Another 102 individuals whose whereabouts were initially unknown have since been located and "declared safe," she said.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED