Florida Condominium Collapsed Trapping Dozens of People
Tragedy struck today in Surfside, Florida, USA (Miami) when a residential highrise condominium building partially collapsed, trapping people in the rubble.
At this time, approximately 99 people are missing (assumed to be in the rubble), and at least three are dead. Many have been injured, and so far 37 people have been pulled from the rubble.
It's impossible to know the exact numbers because many units are used as rentals for tourists, and owners are still being contacted to ask them if their unit was occupied or not.
The condos in the 12-story building are often rented to tourists and vacationers who come to enjoy the beach and sea in colorful Miami. Among the missing are relatives of the wife of the Paraguayan President, as well as citizens from Uruguay, Venezuela, and Argentina. Fifty-five of the 136 units have collapsed, possibly trapping and burying people in those units.
Many were sleeping at 1:03 AM when the building started to collapse, and authorities believe there are many more dead in the rubble. They do not believe there are any more survivors at this point and it is now a search and recovery effort.
USA Today is reporting that a professor (Shimon Wdowinski) at Florida International University in the Department of Earth and Environment, claimed that the building was built on reclaimed wetlands in 1981 and "has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s"
One man who escaped just before the collapse said he heard the loudest noise he'd ever heard and he quickly left the building, although the police were already there and were telling people to stay in the building.
We are reminded of the almost daily occurrence of this kind of tragedy in Syria over the last 10 years, (but our tragedies like this are purposeful acts committed by the Assad regime and Russia), and our hearts are heavy for the tourists and Americans who are affected today.
Prayers for all involved.
This video shows the actual collapse: