At Least 4 Dead, 160 Missing after Residential Building Collapses in Florida
A 12-story condominium building in Miami, Florida, suddenly collapsed on Thursday morning, killing at least four and leaving nearly 160 people missing.
According to BBC News, a large section of the seaside Champlain Towers, which were built in the 1980s, collapsed in just 12 seconds at around 1:30 am on Thursday while many families were sleeping.
Of the building's 136 apartments, 55 collapsed.
It is unknown how many people are trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building, but search and rescue teams are reported to have pulled dozens of trapped residents free already.
BBC News reports that rescue teams have also been embarking on the dangerous task of tunneling through an underground parking deck below the building in an effort to find victims.
According to Fox News, on Friday, President Joe Biden issued a federal emergency declaration so that federal aid can be sent to Florida.
"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 in a statement.
Evangelical non-profit the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has also deployed aid to the Sunshine State through its Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. In a statement on Facebook, BGEA President and CEO Evangelist Franklin Graham offered prayers for the loved ones of those killed and those who are missing amid the tragedy. He also noted that the "Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are there to minister to and pray with people in the community and first responders." He added, "The Bible tells us, 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' (Psalm 46:1)."
According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the cause of the collapse is not yet known. DeSantis noted that officials will work on determining the collapse of the building, but they are first working to house displaced residents and rescue and recover those who are still missing.
A report has noted, however, that the building began sinking in the 1990s. The BBC reports that in the 90s, experts from Florida International University found that the building has been built on reclaimed wetlands and had "been sinking at a rate of two millimetres per year" for the last 30 years. FIU Professor Shimon Wdowinski, who authored the report about the sinking land, explained that the land, however, was not likely to be the only cause of the building's collapse.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.