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President Biden approves Florida emergency declaration after condo collapse

Workers used a lift to investigate balconies in the still-standing portion of the building adjacent to where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed.
Workers used a lift to investigate balconies in the still-standing portion of the building adjacent to where a wing of a 12-story beachfront condo building collapsed.Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

President Joe Biden early Friday authorized an emergency declaration in the state of Florida and ordered federal assistance to be directed to the area to help supplement the state and local response after a condo collapsed near Miami on Thursday, leaving at least four dead and 159 missing.

The president authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate “all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population,” according to a statement released by the White House.

Authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, the emergency measures are intended “to save lives and protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the Miami-Dade County,” the statement said.

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Rescue crews continued to pick through tons of rubble on Friday, looking for survivors after part of the oceanfront apartment tower collapsed in Surfside near Miami early Thursday.


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follower her on Twitter @brittbowker.