Miami – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County on Thursday following an appeal by US President Joe Biden to provide assistance to families affected by a building collapse. of apartments where at least one person died and 99 are missing.
Through an executive order, DeSantis found that “a substantial part of the structure has been destroyed and the rest has become uninhabitable.”
In addition, it cites that several agencies have mobilized immediately to respond to this incident, including the Emergency Management Division and the Transportation and Economic Opportunities departments, and that “relief activities and operations are being carried out in coordination and cooperation with local officials ”.
“As governor, I am responsible for facing the dangers this emergency presents to this state and its people,” the executive order reads.
The measure envisages directing all state, regional and local government agencies, including law enforcement agencies, to identify the personnel needed (…) to help meet the response, recovery and mitigation needs created by this emergency.
Likewise, the text signed by DeSantis declares “illegal (…) for a person to rent or sell (…) at an excessive price within the area for which the state of emergency is declared any essential product, including, between others, supplies, services, provisions or necessary equipment ”.
In addition, the governor ordered that “sufficient funds be made available, as necessary, by transferring and spending appropriated money for other purposes.”
The missing after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers residential building in Miami-Dade may be at least 99, according to the director of the police of that South Florida county, Feddy Ramírez, quoted by local media.
Ramírez said the whereabouts of 53 residents of the building are known, but there are another 99 of whom are not known after the disaster, the Miami Herald reported.
DeSantis said during a visit to the scene that rescue teams had heard voices under the rubble.
For now, only one person has been officially confirmed dead in the partial collapse of the 12-story, 40-year-old beachfront building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.
In total, 55 of the 136 apartments in Champlain Towers collapsed due to unknown causes around 1.30 (5.30 GMT) amid a great roar, causing residents to believe it was an earthquake, some of them said. to the media.
US President Joe Biden said Thursday that he is ready to deploy the necessary federal resources after the building collapsed.
Biden said he is in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “ready to go,” although he said he was waiting for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to “declare an emergency.”
The president was asked by journalists about the partial collapse of the building during his speech at the White House to discuss the agreement on his infrastructure plan.
Although they wait for DeSantis to declare the emergency, Biden said that there are already FEMA teams in the area to assess what is needed, check if it is necessary for the surrounding buildings to be evacuated and find accommodation for those who have been left without a home. .