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Federal Government Approves Emergency Declaration After Miami’s Building Collapse

Gobierno Federal aprueba declaración de emergencia por derrumbe en Miami

Available: Español

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The U.S. government has approved the declaration of emergency due to the collapse of an apartment building in South Florida, Miami in which four people have died so far, although hundreds are still missing.

The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and specifically the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate “all relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused”.

FEMA will then be able to mobilize and provide equipment and resources to assist in this emergency.

The 12-story oceanfront building had 136 apartments and approximately 55 of them collapsed along the northeast corridor, according to Raide Jadallah, deputy chief at the fire department.

The building opened in 1981 and has just passed a mandatory 40-year inspection. Experts say it will take months and perhaps years to determine the cause of the complete collapse of one of the building’s wings.

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Local 10 reported that on Thursday the first lawsuit was filed against the Champlain Towers homeowners association for $5 million.

Rescue teams recovered three bodies of victims of the collapse, bringing the death toll to four, according to the office of the county mayor, Daniella Levine Cava.

The family reunification center a few blocks from Champlain Towers is beginning to take DNA samples from people with missing relatives to facilitate identification when bodies are found in the rubble.

Rescue crews, led by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, have tunneled through the mountain of rubble from the building’s garage and are working with trained dogs and sonar equipment to find signs of life.