The collapse occurred early Thursday morning at a Surfside condo near Miami Beach. Rescue teams are still searching for people in the wreckage.
According to official information available, the partial collapse of a 12-story building in Miami on Thursday left at least four dead and 159 missings, according to official data available so far, and prompted a massive deployment of first responders in the incident area.
The event occurred around 2 AM (local time) Thursday, between 88th and Collins Avenue in Surfside, near Miami Beach, in a building that makes up part of the Champlain Towers complex. There the firefighters have been carrying out an impressive search and rescue operation for more than 24 hours.
Authorities confirmed the deaths of four people but have not yet detailed the possible causes of the collapse.
The police closed the nearby streets, and dozens of rescue vehicles, firefighters, ambulances, and police flooded the place. The landslide hit a cloud of dust that spread across the neighborhood and covered cars on the road, even two blocks away.
Here is the minute-by-minute coverage of the event in Miami local time (GMT-4):
02:10: The building's recertification report was not a red flag for the collapse, the condo association attorney said.
00:15: More teams arrived to treat patients at the scene.
10:10 PM: Rescue teams from Mexico and Israel are assisting the search.
8:44 PM: Levine Cava reported that rescue efforts would continue through the night.
7:40 PM: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she still has hope of finding people alive. I hope so because our first responders tell me they have hope. They are the ones on the ground. They are in the tunnels; they are in the water; they are on top of the pile of rubble. They are helping to scrutinize using the cameras, the sonar dogs, and they say they have hope, "he told CNN.
19:22: The Government of Canada reported that at least four Canadian citizens could have been victims of the landslide.
6:24 PM: Miami-Dade Fire Chief Freddy Alvarez revealed that more than 2,500 people were participating in the search and rescue operation and called on the families of the disappeared to have hope.
5:56 PM: The federal emergency service (FEMA) approved the emergency declaration for the apartment complex that collapsed. This will mean that the federal government will send more resources to help with the search and rescue of survivors.
4:40 PM: They filed a lawsuit against the managers of the building that collapsed yesterday. The lawsuit alleges that "the defendant could have prevented the demolition of the South Champlain Towers by practicing public care, security measures and surveillance."
4:15 PM: The Federal Emergency Service (FEMA) sends three search and rescue teams to Florida to assist with the operation.
3:22 PM: Governor Ron DeSantis visited the Reunification Center.
3:11 PM: The White House reported that President Joe Biden spoke with Ron DeSantis. In a statement, it was noted that Biden "expressed his condolences to the family of the governor and the people of the Surface community. Who lost their loved ones in this devastating tragedy and for the families who wait in anguish as the efforts continue. Search and rescue".
2:56 PM: Relatives of the missing persons approach the Reunification Center to have their DNA samples taken if it is necessary to identify bodies recovered from the rubble.
2:46 PM: President Joe Biden referred to the event at a press conference: "I want to say, I've spoken with Governor DeSantis, and we've provided all the help they have, they need. We send the best FEMA people there. We are going to be with them, with the disaster declaration that we made, provide everything from housing to, God forbid if there is a need for a moratorium for the bodies to be placed and everything else".
2:15 PM: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said it is necessary to get "a definitive answer to what happened ." The Republican president assured this in a press conference while the search and rescue tasks continue
1:45 PM: A new storm affects the work of rescuers, who have been in place for more than 30 hours.
12:50 PM: The manager of the Champlain Towers South condo through 2019, Alexandria Santamaria, told CNN that she had never been informed that the building needed immediate repairs during the time she managed the property.
11:30 AM: Miami-Dade authorities confirmed three of the four people who died in the landslide had been identified. The county Medical Examiner's Department director, Emma Lew, did not release the names of the fatalities.
10:25 AM: Surfside manager Andy Hyatt said it is still unknown how many people were inside Champlain Towers South when it collapsed. The official added that they would carry out "due diligence" on what happened.
10:10 AM: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be in Surfside this afternoon, his office confirmed in a press release.
09:50: Joe Biden will speak this Friday about the collapse of the building after issuing an emergency declaration in Florida to authorize federal assistance.
09:40: The first lady of Paraguay, Silvana López Moreira, is in Florida awaiting news from her sister and her family, who are missing in the collapse.
09:30: CNN Chile confirmed that one of the disappeared Chileans is a distant relative of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
9:15 AM: Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramírez stated that homicide detectives and medical examiners are working to identify the collapse fatalities.
09:00: The White House said that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, could travel to Miami to visit the scene of the collapse next week.
8:20: The head of the Fire Department, Miami-Dade, Ray Jadallah, said all search efforts have moved into the rubble. "We are hopeful, and every time we hear a sound, we focus on that area," he added.
08:15: Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that the number of disappeared rose to 159, 31 are Latin American. He assured that they continue to "work hard" with the federal government's support to find more people in the rubble. "We are hopeful," he added.
08:00: The authorities confirmed the death of three more people. There are four who died from the collapse.
2:30 AM: Miami-Dale County rescue teams continued to work through tons of debris overnight Thursday and early Friday to find the 99 missing people.
01:30: President Joe Biden approved the emergency declaration for the state of Florida. The president's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all relief efforts in the event of a disaster like this.
01:00: A former Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Dave Downey explained to CNN how first responders search for survivors.
"Now they are immersed in what we call the search for emptiness. So what they're doing is systematically scouring the pile of rubble for any sign of life, "Downey said.
00:30: Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said the search for survivors would continue all night. In addition, he declared himself surprised by what happened. "In the United States, buildings just don't fall like this," he said. "It is a catastrophe.
00:24: Miami Beach State Senator Jason Pizzo was at the landslide scene, where he watched as tactical teams worked to remove bodies from the rubble.
00:15: Miami's basketball, football, and baseball sports teams offered meals to first responders and families of the victims. Miami Dale Mayor Daniella Levine Cava thanked the gesture on behalf of the community.
00:00: Miami Dade County opened a collection to ask for donations for those affected by the landslide. "Surfside needs our support; please share far and wide," Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted.