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Florida building collapse: what we know about the tragedy that left at least four dead :
The partial collapse of a residential building in Surfside, Florida is causing a stir in the United States. Rescue teams continue their race against time to find any survivors among the rubble. Here's what you need to know about the disaster that killed at least four people: A twelve-story residential building partially collapsed early Thursday, June 24, north of Miami Beach, Florida, in the southeastern United States -United. Local authorities reported four dead and 159 missing on Friday afternoon. While the search continues in the rubble, they still hope to find people alive. Here's what you need to know about this shocking disaster in the United States and around the world.

Twelve crumbling floors
The twelve floors of the building collapsed around 1:30 a.m., within the Champlain Towers South complex in the city of Surfside in the southeastern United States, according to witnesses releasing a large cloud of dust over several blocks. of houses. The collapse of an entire wing of this oceanfront complex affected approximately 55 apartments.

Noises were heard emanating from the rubble, without rescuers being sure they were of human origin. “I was in a deep sleep, and I heard a loud crash, which I mistook for a crash and lightning. But it continued, for 15-20 minutes I would say, "said Barry Cohen, 63, a resident of the collapsed building. Nicolas Fernandez, an Argentinian living in Miami, reported that friends of his family were staying at the resort. “I haven't heard from them. I don't know if they're alive or if ... "the 29-year-old stammered.

The still unknown causes of the collapse
The causes of the collapse of this residential complex are still unknown. According to local media, the twelve-story building was built in 1981. Work to bring it up to standard was underway, particularly on the building's roof, several officials said, nevertheless considering it unlikely that they are the cause of the collapse.

Four confirmed deaths
According to the latest information from local authorities released this Friday afternoon, four people were found dead and 159 people still have not given any sign of life, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava reported during a speech. a press conference. "The number of people of whom we have no news has risen to 159. In addition, we confirm an increase in the death toll which is now four," she lamented. She said, however, that 120 people have now been located, "which is very good news," she added.

According to Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, "almost a third of the missing […] are foreigners." "We are working with consulates in various countries in Latin America to help family members of victims who need to come to the United States to obtain visas," he tweeted Thursday.

Among the missing are nine Argentines, three Uruguayans and six Paraguayans. The sister of the First Lady of Paraguay, Silvana Lopez Moreira, and her family are concerned, confirmed the Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Euclides Acevedo.

The evacuated residents were taken to "hotel rooms" and received "medicine, blankets and clothing," Daniella Levine Cava said.

The hope of finding survivors
However, authorities still have hopes of finding people alive in the collapsed building, despite the extent of the damage and the compactness of the rubble. "We will continue the search and rescue operations as we still have hope of locating people alive," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Rescuers “are extremely motivated by the prospect of finding people. We have to force them to do their rotations, it shows how much their motivation is ”, she added.

The search could take "at least a week," said Andrew Hyatt, an official at Surfside, on Thursday.

Relief operations made difficult by a storm
Relief operations have continued unabated since Thursday, despite a storm that hit around 10 p.m. local time bringing heavy rain. “The operations are carried out with a very high risk for these individuals. Debris is falling on them as they do their job, ”said Daniella Levine Cava.

A total of 130 firefighters are mobilized in the operation, reported Miami-Dade Deputy Fire Chief Raide Jadallah. Heavy machinery is used to remove metals from the debris, while lighter machines continue to tunnel through the debris to search for survivors, he explained. Structural engineers are also present on the site to support the rescue teams.

The declared state of emergency
US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Florida to provide federal assistance to rescue teams, which will be coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US government agency responsible for ensuring the arrival of relief. in an emergency.

“It's a very, very difficult time. There are so many people waiting, are they alive, what's going to happen? So we are wholeheartedly with them, ”Joe Biden said Friday at a White House press conference.

#news #unitedstates

Photo : Chandan Khanna (AFP).

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 2021-06-26 01:27:27