Disaster

Grand Jury To Investigate Surfside Condo Collapse

The Washington Post reports: Miami’s top prosecutor pledged Tuesday to have a grand jury examine last week’s collapse of an oceanfront high-rise, suggesting that even as the search continues for survivors, the focus was quickly shifting to accountability for a disaster likely to go down as one of the country’s worst. The announcement by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle …

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Biden And First Lady To Visit Site Of Condo Collapse

NPR reports: The White House says President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Florida Thursday to view first hand the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium. Asked by reporters if he planned to visit Surfside, Biden said, “Yes I hope so, as soon as we can. Maybe as early as Thursday.” The White House issued a …

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April Letter Warned Tower Damage Was Getting Worse

USA Today reports: An April letter sent from the president of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association said that damage to the doomed building’s basement garage had “gotten significantly worse” since an inspection about two and a half years earlier and that deterioration of the building’s concrete was “accelerating.” The letter also suggested that millions of dollars in needed repairs …

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Condo Collapse Likely Started In Parking Garage

The New York Times reports: The investigation into what may be the deadliest accidental building collapse in American history has just begun, but experts who have examined video footage of the disaster outside Miami are focusing on a spot in the lowest part of the condominium complex — possibly in or below the underground parking garage — where an initial …

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Surfside Condo Collapse Death Toll Rises To Nine

Miami’s CBS News affiliate reports: There are now nine confirmed deaths in the Champlain Towers South condo collapse in Surfside. On Sunday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said progress was made overnight in the search and rescue mission. “We are cutting a deep trench to assists us. It is now 125 feet in length into the pile. It is 20 …

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Miami-Dade Mayor Orders Audit Of Older Buildings

CBS News reports: The Mayor of Miami-Dade County ordered an audit of all buildings in the county at the 40-year point and beyond in the wake of the collapse of 12-story building in Surfside. The death toll remains at four, with 159 people unaccounted for. Authorities said another 127 people have been accounted for in the collapse. On Saturday, Mayor …

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2018 Engineering Report Warned About Surfside Tower

The Washington Post reports: Engineers who evaluated the South Florida condo that partially collapsed Thursday, leaving dozens trapped under the rubble, warned in a 2018 report of a “major error” in the construction’s original development. The report – released late Friday by officials in Surfside, Fla., – notes that the building’s reinforced concrete slab is not sloped to drain. As …

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Surfside Death Toll Rises To Four As Digging Continues

The Miami Herald reports: The arduous and heartbreaking task of recovering the bodies of victims at the site of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo began overnight and continued into a somber Friday morning in Surfside. Shortly before 7:45 Friday morning, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said authorities have now confirmed four deaths. No additional survivors had been …

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2020 Study Showed Florida Tower Had Been “Sinking”

USA Today reports: A Florida high rise that collapsed early Thursday was determined to be unstable a year ago, according to a researcher at Florida International University. The building, which was constructed in 1981, has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s, according to a 2020 study conducted by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth …

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LIVE VIDEO: DeSantis Speaks From Condo Collapse Site

Miami’s ABC News affiliate reports: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis solemnly admitted the state is “bracing for some bad news” following a partial condo building collapse in Surfside early Thursday morning that left at least one person dead. DeSantis arrived at the scene around 12 p.m. and is scheduled to hold a news conference around 12:30 p.m. Officials said at least …

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50+ Unaccounted For In FL Condo Collapse [VIDEO]

The Miami Herald reports: Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Ray Jadallah says 55 units in the Northeast corridor of the building collapsed, and 35 survivors were pulled out. Ten were treated at the scene, two were transported to the hospital. Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett confirmed at least one person has died. Authorities anticipate more fatalities but wouldn’t speculate on the number. …

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Evacuations As Arizona Wildfire Spreads In Record Heat

CNN reports: One of Arizona’s largest wildfires has scorched more than 139,000 acres and continues to spread rapidly as weather conditions are expected to remain hot and dry. More than 1,000 people are fighting to tame the Telegraph Fire, burning east of Phoenix, as it has grown and began merging with the neighboring Mescal Fire. Both fires have charred more …

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Mexico City Subway Overpass Collapse Kills At Least 23

NBC News reports: A Mexico City subway train overpass collapsed onto a road on Monday night, killing at least 23 people, including children, authorities said. Dozens more were injured. Photos and video from the scene showed mangled train cars hanging from the crumbled overpass and rescue personnel searching and transporting people away from the scene on stretchers. “A support beam …

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Dozens Killed In Israel Ultra-Orthodox Stampede

The BBC reports: At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of Israel. Dozens more were injured at the Lag B’Omer celebration, which takes place annually at the foot of Mount Meron. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to the scene and said Sunday would be a day of national mourning. …

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Caribbean Volcano Erupts In New “Huge Explosion”

The Associated Press reports: La Soufriere volcano fired an enormous amount of ash and hot gas early Monday in the biggest explosive eruption yet since volcanic activity began on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent late last week, with officials worried about the lives of those who have refused to evacuate. Experts called it a “huge explosion” that generated …

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Democratic US Reps Work Houston Food Bank [VIDEO]

Mediaite reports: Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke to reporters before volunteering at a food bank in Houston in response to the ongoing winter weather disaster in Texas. On Saturday morning, Reps. Lee, Garcia, and Ocasio-Cortez spoke to reporters for several minutes outside the Houston Food Bank before heading inside to help provide relief to Houstonians …

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Biden Approves “Major Disaster” Declaration For Texas

CNBC reports: President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with widespread power outages and water shortages amid freezing winter conditions, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Saturday. The action provides federal funding for individuals in Texas, grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. …

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AOC To Visit TX After Raising $1M In Relief Donations

Newsweek reports: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed that she plans to visit Texas at the weekend, as Senator Ted Cruz is embroiled in a scandal for flying to Cancun while locals battle power outages and a winter freeze. Posting on social media, Ocasio-Cortez said she would make a trip to Houston with Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) to highlight the problems …

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TX Food Supply Chain Disrupted, Some Stores Empty

The Texas Tribune reports: Texans are running out of food. From farm to table, freezing temperatures and power outages are disrupting the food supply chain that people rely on every day. Across the state, people are using up supplies they had stockpiled and losing more as items start to spoil in dark refrigerators. Some are storing their remaining rations in …

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Trump Reverses On Wildfires Relief Aid For California

Sacramento’s NBC News affiliate reports: Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that President Donald Trump has approved the state’s request for a major disaster declaration for wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the state. The reversal came hours after the Trump administration had denied the bid and California officials were planning to appeal the rejection. In a …

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