Partial building collapse near Miami

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 7:09 AM ET, Fri June 25, 2021
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3:27 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden: FEMA is "ready to go" if Florida governor declares a state of emergency after collapse

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

President Biden said that federal resources, including assistance from FEMA, are "ready to go" to respond to the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, and that they're waiting for Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.

"So, we are on top of it, we are ready to move from the federal resources immediately... If in fact we're asked for it. But we can't go in and do it, but FEMA is down there taking a look at what's needed," Biden said.

Biden noted that his chief of staff Ron Klain is heavily involved along with members of his Cabinet to make sure federal resources are ready to be deployed.

"My chief of staff has been deeply involved in this from the very beginning. We got the cabinet involved in it now in terms of dealing with FEMA. We're working on it. I made it clear, I say to the people of Florida, 'Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we're waiting, just ask us, we'll be there,'" Biden said.

Watch here:

2:21 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

4 Venezuelan and 8 Argentinian citizens missing in Florida building collapse, according to consulates

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

The consulates of two countries, Venezuela and Argentina, say that a number of their citizens are missing in the Surfside, Florida, building collapse. 

Brian Fincheltub, Venezuela's consular affairs director, wrote on Twitter that they have identified four citizens that are in the building.  

"We are already in contact with the authorities that are searching and their families," he went onto say.

In a press release published on Twitter, Argentina's consulate in Miami said that nine citizens are currently missing. 

 

1:52 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade mayor: The collapse is an "unimaginable" situation, but we are hopeful

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

WPLG
WPLG

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that while the collapse of the building is an "unimaginable situation that none of us could have predicted" they have the right people on the job and are "very hopeful."

"Our team at Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue has dealt with collapse situations before. Their dogs are trained. They have been on the scene since they got the call at 1:38 this morning. And they are doing a fantastic job. They were able to rescue so many from the buildings, the intact building, the collapsed building, and really incredible that at this time we've only identified one person as having passed. So we are very, very hopeful," Cava said.

Cava said that the city is working with the Red Cross and its own social service agency to accommodate people who are displaced. Cava also noted how surrounding cities and towns have offered assistance with their police departments.

"They've all come to help with their police departments, with their own moral support and presence," she said.

Cava noted that the area is predominately Jewish and support from rabbis and chaplains are on hand as well.

The mayor also highlighted reunification efforts for those looking for missing people.

"Anyone who is looking for a missing loved one, anyone with information, we have a hotline, 305-614-1819. This is how we are going about continuing this operation with the support of family members. We are also going to be receiving family members. We're going to accommodate them," she said.

2:10 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Short-term hotels have been set up for displaced people, governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Lynne Sladky/AP
Lynne Sladky/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said with help from the Red Cross, short-term hotels are now set up for people who were displaced by the building collapse.

Officials said approximately 55 units at the Champlain Towers South were impacted. On Thursday morning, County Commissioner Sally Heyman said 51 people who are assumed to be living there have not been accounted for.

The governor said "it is really, really traumatic to see the collapse of a mass like that."

He said the next steps will be to "with the city and the county, state, to make sure that there's any longer-term needs, that we can be helpful in any way we can."

DeSantis said rescue crews are still working hard, looking for people.

"We still have hope to be able to identify additional survivors, and the state of Florida, we're offering any assistance we can," he said.

1:00 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Biden has been briefed on partial building collapse

From CNN's DJ Judd and Jason Hoffman

President Biden told reporters today that he has been briefed on the building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida.

“I have, I’ve spoken with the mayor, I’ve spoken with the congresswoman, and I’ll have more to say later," he told reporters at the White House.

An official also said the White House and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with local officials to help provide assistance.

“This morning the President spoke with Mayor Levine Cava and offered federal assistance and support for dealing with the terrible tragedy in Surfside. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain spoke with Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, in whose district the building is located, and the White House and FEMA are coordinating with local officials to provide assistance if needed," said a White House official. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their beloved as a result of this horrific incident – and to those families who wait in anguish as search-and-rescue teams assess the situation. The White House is continuing to monitor the situation, and we send our gratitude to the heroic first responders who are working tirelessly to save lives this morning.”

What we know: At least one person is dead and at least 10 are injured. At least 51 people assumed to be living in the building are not accounted for, officials say.

12:37 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Mayor of Miami-Dade says she has spoken with President Biden after building collapse

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos and Mel Alonso 

The mayor of Miami-Dade said Thursday that she has spoken with President Biden about the catastrophic building collapse in Surfside, Florida.  

“Just got off the phone with POTUS. He offered the full support of the federal government to help our community during this difficult time. We continue to work with local, state, and federal agencies as we respond to this tragedy and do everything we can to support the impacted families,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted Thursday. 

Levine Cava met with Biden at the White House Wednesday to discuss gun violence, according to a tweet. 

“I’m heading back to Miami-Dade after a productive day at the White House. Thank you to POTUS for a great meeting – and for the renewed national commitment to tackling gun violence and keeping all our communities safe,” she tweeted yesterday.

12:18 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Family members of Paraguay's first lady are missing following Surfside collapse

From CNN's Ana Zuniga and Melissa Alonso

Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez's ministry of external relations told CNNE that they have not been able to locate the first lady's sister nor her family and consider her to be missing after the building collapse in Surfside, Florida. 

The sister of first lady Silvana López Moreira lives with her husband and three children on the 10th floor of the partially collapsed building.

A total of six Paraguayans are unaccounted for at this time, the ministry tweeted Thursday.

 

 

12:02 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Surveillance video from inside the building shows the moment of partial collapse 

From CNN’s Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman

A 13-second video from Rosie Santana shows a motion-sensor camera set up inside her family’s two-bedroom condo on the 7th floor of the building, Unit 711.

Santana told CNN, “That's our apartment, my family apartment. I actually left for the weekend yesterday and I always set up a camera when I leave, so that was the footage I got. It only records when it detects movement so... it detected movement, it recorded that piece, and then it lost connection.” 

Santana said that their apartment “was one of the ones that collapsed, like... it's just dust, there's no hope for it basically.” 

Santana added that “It's basically a vacation home that we use, but I've been there for the past 3 weeks and I just happened to leave yesterday.”

12:01 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

A building near Miami partially collapsed overnight. Here's the latest on the rescue operations.

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus

Part of a residential building collapsed early this morning in the South Florida community of Surfside. The building – located at 8777 Collins Avenue – is a few miles north of Miami Beach.

If you're just reading in now, here's what we know so far about the disaster and the serach operations:

  • What happened: The collapse killed at least one person, officials said. Two people have been pulled from the rubble and 35 others have been evacuated from standing portions of the building since the collapse happened around 1:30 a.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said. The mayor of Miami-Dade county, Daniella Levine Cava, said the building is 12 stories and has more than 130 units.
  • Paused search efforts: An intense search and rescue effort began shortly after 2 a.m. ET, according to Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett. But currently, a strong storm with gusty winds and lightning has put the search and rescue effort in "pause mode,” according to Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman.
  • About the unaccounted: Heyman said, as of right now, 51 people who were assumed to have been living in the partially collapsed part of the building have not been accounted for. However, officials are uncertain if all 51 people were in the building at the time of its collapse.
  • About the building: The building, which was built in the 1980s, was undergoing roof work, Burkett said, but he added that it's unknown whether this was a factor in the collapse, Burkett said.
  • If you're looking for a loved one: A family reunification center, located at 9301 Collins Avenue, has been set up for anyone looking for missing people, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said. Emergency officials are also asking people to call 305-614-1819 if they have relatives who are unaccounted for.