President Joe Biden on Friday approved an emergency declaration in Florida and dispatched federal aid to assist in the response after a 12-story building partially collapsed with hundreds of residents trapped inside.
The White House said in a statement that Biden authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to “coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.” (RELATED: Condo Collapse Leaves 4 Dead, Over 150 Missing, Officials Say)
The 12-story condo collapsed at approximately 2 a.m. Thursday in Surfside, a town in southeastern Florida just north of Miami Beach. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Caca said Friday morning that four people were killed and 159 others remained unaccounted for.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis first declared a state of emergency Thursday night as rescue teams continued to search for people buried in the rubble.
“It looks like a bomb went off,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said Thursday on “Today.”
“This is a catastrophic failure of that building,” he added, saying that he was unsure whether the other half of the building was at immediate risk of crumbling as well.
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