Everything We Know So Far About the Surfside Building Collapse

Live Updates

A beachfront condo building in the Florida town of Surfside collapsed early Thursday morning.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a press conference Friday that 120 people have been accounted for while at least 159 people are still missing.

Four deaths have been reported. The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department identified three of the four people who died in the Surfside condo collapse, but the department has only announced one of the names publicly, 54-year-old Stacie Fang.

Fang was pulled from the rubble and transported to Aventura Hospital, where she died Thursday, WSVN 7 reported.

Among those still unaccounted for, 31 are from six Latin American countries. Six are Venezuelan citizens, nine are Argentine, six are Colombian, three are Uruguayan, six are Paraguayan and one is Chilean.

The sister of Paraguay first lady Silvana López Moreira is one of the missing six from the country, Paraguay Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo told local media. Her husband, three children and a family assistant are also not accounted for.

The Times of Jerusalem reported Thursday that 20 of those missing are Jewish, although it is unclear if any are Israeli citizens.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke with Maor Elbaz, the Consul General of Israel in Miami, and updated him on the state of operations in the area due to the collapse of the building.

"The Foreign Ministry personnel in Miami and here in Israel are doing everything they can to help the wounded and the families," Lapid told The Times of Israel. "It is a difficult and complex event, and it will take time to deal with it. We are here for the victims for any assistance they may need."

Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Chief Raide Jadallah said 37 people were pulled from the rubble, at least 11 people with injuries have been treated and four of those were transported.

President Joe Biden approved a Florida emergency declaration Friday and ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist search and rescue efforts at the Surfside building collapse, a White House release said.

Search and rescue officials are urging people to call 305-614-1819 if they know someone who may have been in the building Thursday morning. The Surfside Community enter has become a reunification center for families still searching for their loved ones.

Officials still do not know what caused 55 units of the condominium tower to collapse. Surfside Vice Mayor Tina Paul told Newsweek that the building passed a roof inspection the day before it collapsed.

The condo development was built in 1981 on the beach in the southeast corner of Surfside. The current asking price for a few two-bedroom units was listed at $600,000 to $700,000.

Surfside is located about six miles from Miami Beach.

The live updates for this event have concluded.

Surfside Search and Rescue
Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue team arrive with K-9's to continue looking for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Surfside building resident filed a lawsuit against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association in 2015 alleging that the building owners did not properly maintain the outer walls, according to newly released court documents.

Matilde Fainstein reported seeing water seeping through cracks in the outer wall in 2014, which she said damaged her outdoor terrace. Fainstein filed a suit that year, and the owners were found responsible for the damages.

She filed another suit the next year, saying the building owners "failed to repair or negligently repaired the common elements and the outside walls of the building," Insider reported.

Whether improperly maintained outer walls were the cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, but a Florida International University study from 2020 found that the building had been sinking up to two millimeters per year since the 1990s.

Read more from Newsweek.

The reunification center for Surfside families was moved from the Surfside Community Center to the Grand Beach Hotel, about a mile from the collapsed building, WPTV reported. The center has been seeing increased traffic from people awaiting news on missing family members.

Additionally, families waiting at the centers have been asked to provide DNA samples to aid in the identification process for any bodies found in the rubble.

Read more from Newsweek.

Surfside Families
People hug as they wait for news about relatives at the Community Center in Surfside north of Miami Beach, Florida on June 25, 2021. - Four people are now known to have died in the collapse of an oceanfront apartment building near Miami Beach, officials said Friday, while the number of unaccounted for has risen to 159 -- fueling fears of a much higher death toll. Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the people affected by the Surfside condo destruction "need a definitive explanation for how this could have happened," during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

He stressed the important of getting an accurate yet prompt reason for why the 40-year old building collapsed.

"It's an explanation that we don't want to to get wrong obviously, but at the same time I do think it's important that it's timely because you have a lot of families here. You have families that lost loved ones in this building collapse. They have a right to know," he said.

He also asserted that there were people throughout the Surfside community and the rest of the state wondering how a building's structure could suddenly fail.

"The state will support whatever we can to do this right," he said.

Ron DeSantis in Surfside
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (C) arrives to speak to the media about the 12-story condo tower that partially collapse on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he spoke with President Joe Biden Friday afternoon about the Surfside collapse, and that the White House is "stepping up to help people who are in need."

"I just spoke about an hour ago with President Biden, and he reiterated his administration's full support. They're all in," DeSantis said during a news conference. "And so we really appreciate having the support of the President and the people of Florida."

Biden also confirmed that he and DeSantis had been in contact, affirming his support for Florida during White House remarks Friday.

"We sent the best people from FEMA down there. We're going to stay with them, with the disaster declaration we made, provide for everything from housing to, God forbid, whether there's a need for moratoria for the bodies to be placed and everything in between," he said.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner has identified Stacie Fang, 54, as one of the four confirmed victims in the Surfside building collapse, according to a WSVN 7 reporter. While the department announced earlier Friday that it had identified three of the victims, Fang's is the first name to be released publicly.

BREAKING: 54-Year-Old Stacie Fang has been identified as the first victim by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner following the partial building collapse in Surfside.

— Andrew Scheinthal (@AScheinthalWSVN) June 25, 2021

Fang was pulled out of the rubble after the collapse and was transported for treatment to Aventura Hospital, where she died from blunt force injuries Thursday, WSVN reported.

In a statement obtained by WSVN, a family friend said there were "no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie," and asked the public to respect the privacy of her loved ones and son, Jonah Handler, as they grieve.

"The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received. The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much-needed source of strength during this devastating time."

The White House is organizing a phone call between President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as Florida continues recovery efforts following the Surfside building collapse, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing.

"We're working to set up a call between the President and the governor that should be happening this afternoon and we'll give you all a readout of that when it happens," Psaki said.

Biden and DeSantis have not spoken since part of the condo caved in early Thursday, CNN reported. However, the governor's office requested an emergency declaration Thursday night, approved Friday by Biden, and DeSantis has communicated with other top White House officials since the collapse.

The approved declaration of emergency gives Florida access to federal resources and equipment to aid search and rescue work.

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the media about the 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building that partially collapsed on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue effort continues with rescue crews from across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Florida International University scientific report from 2020 shows that the collapsed Surfside building was built on reclaimed wetlands and has been sinking up to two millimeters per year in the past three decades.

The report, by Department of Earth and Environment professor Shimon Wdowinski, cited previous studies on the "property damage and disruptions to daily life" that coastal cities can experience as a result of rising sea levels and tidal flooding.

The cause of the condo collapse that killed at least four has not yet been determined, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology is sending six scientists and engineers to investigate.

"If a full investigation or study is conducted, its ultimate goal would be to determine the technical cause of the collapse and, if indicated, to recommend changes to building codes, standards and practices, or other appropriate actions to improve the structural safety of buildings," NIST said in a statement.

The Brad Shohn law firm filed a $5 million lawsuit against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association on Thursday night after one of their buildings collapsed in Florida's Surfside beach community, the Local 10 news channel reported.

The firm is representing Manuel Drezner, who lives near the building, and others "similarly situated."

The lawsuit alleges that repair needs for the building had been diagnosed, "but they had not been implemented." Additionally, it states the building association could have evaded the collapse "through the exercise of ordinary care, security measures and supervision."

Search and Rescue
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel continue search and rescue operations in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Over one hundred people are being reported as missing as search-and-rescue effort continues with rescue crews from across Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Surfside Vice Mayor Tina Paul told Newsweek that the collapsed building, Champlain Towers South, passed a roof inspection the day before it collapsed.

She said that the Surfside town manager and a building official confirmed with her that the condo underwent inspection. She added that the building might have already initiated its 40-year certification process, which is standard for buildings of that age, at the time of the collapse.

While speaking to CNN's Poppy Harlow on Friday, Paul mentioned that she recently learned work had been done on the building's roof when a now missing couple who lived in the building complained to her about the smell of tar.

"The smell was just overwhelming for them even with the windows closed," Paul said.

Six Colombian citizens have not yet been accounted for after the Surfside building collapse, Colombian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Camila Mugno confirmed with CNN Friday. Among the missing are a family of three from Medellín, Mugno said.

The six are part of at least 31 citizens from six Latin American countries who have not been found after the collapse, CNN reported.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio acknowledged in a Tweet Thursday that a "substantial number" of the missing were originally from overseas.

"We are working with the Consulates of various countries in the Western Hemisphere to help secure travel visas for family members who need to travel to the U.S.," he wrote in a later Tweet.

A substantial number of those living at the Surfside building which collapsed are originally from overseas.

Our office is on site at the family reunification center to help provide assistance with obtaining humanitarian visas for their loved ones who need to travel to the U.S.

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 24, 2021

The sister of Paraguay's First Lady Silvana López Moreira is still among the missing after the Surfside building collapse Thursday.

The first lady's sister, Sophia López Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill and their three children were in Miami for COVID-19 vaccinations when the collapse occurred, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo told local media.

The first lady, her parents and her brother-in-law's parents all traveled to Florida Thursday as they awaited news of her sister, the Paraguay presidency's office of communication told CNN en Español.

Sophia's husband and children, as well as a family assistant who traveled with them, represent the six known people from Paraguay currently missing in the wreck.

Paraguay First Lady
Paraguay's First Lady Silvana Lopez Moreira (R) walks next to US President Donald Trump's daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, (L) at the Presidential Palace in Asuncion, on September 6, 2019. The First Lady's sister and her family are among the missing after the Surfside building collapse in Miami. Norberto Duarte/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden approved a Florida emergency declaration Friday and ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist search and rescue efforts at the Surfside building collapse, according to a White House release.

The emergency declaration gives the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA the authority to "coordinate all disaster relief efforts" that have "the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population."

FEMA can also provide equipment and resources "at its discretion" to aid those excavating the site. Thomas J. McCool was named the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery efforts in the area.

Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden returns to the White House June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images

"We are very, very grateful that our president has now authorized FEMA support," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference Friday. "That is going to assist us in our recovery efforts, as well to assist the families."

The number of people missing after Thursday's Surfside condo collapse now sits at 159, while the death count rose to four, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference Friday.

Meanwhile, the number of people accounted for rose to 120, which the mayor said was "very good news."

"The search and rescue team worked throughout the night, and it was a very active scene from above and below," Cava said. "We also brought heavy machinery onto the site to assist with the operation."

Cava said that the current numbers are "very fluid" and the county would continue to provide updates if they change.

Surfside Excavation
A caterpillar moves next to the rescue area of a partially collapsed building in Surfside, north of Miami Beach on June 25, 2021. Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

Incoming storms may hinder rescue efforts at Surfside.

Craig Setzer at Miami CBS affiliate WFOR posted a brief video to Twitter from the station's realtime doppler showing a storm front coming into the Miami Beach area.

"Unfortunately, rescue efforts likely to be disrupted for an hour or so as heavy storms race toward Surfside. Stay safe as the storms pass. #CondoCollapse," he wrote.

Unfortunately, rescue efforts likely to be disrupted for an hour or so as heavy storms race toward Surfside. Stay safe as the storms pass. #CondoCollapse pic.twitter.com/089ZAdnfBK

— Craig Setzer (@CraigSetzer) June 25, 2021

As of 8:30 p.m., the numbers have remained the same, with 102 people declared safe and 99 unaccounted for.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava gave the statistics at asaid at an evening press conference, and said that the 99 who are unaccounted for may include people who were not in the building at the time of its collapse.

While city and county officials are leaving the scene for the evening, Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said that first responders' work will continue throughout the night.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) said that the White House would be approving all requests for aid.

"There will be unprecedented resources that will be sent and available to the families in need, to the cities and the local government for the cleanup costs that are going to be so essential," Wasserman-Schultz said.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) spoke about the diverse makeup of the community.

"This is an international community. We are the gateway of Latin America. This community in particular has so many Israeli families and many of them have international family members who are longing for information about their loved ones. We're working with constituents to help get visas processed quickly so we can get their family members over here, to be able to make sure that they can be standing by to get the critical news they're all looking for," Rubio said.

The next official update is expected at about 7:30 or 8 a.m. Friday.

The Miami Heat have created a hardship fund for the victims of the building collapse.

The Heat, working with its charitable fund as well as the Coral Gables Community Foundation, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Miami Foundation, have set up the fund, according to the Miami Herald.

Contributions can be made here.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue posted a video Thursday evening showing the scene in the Champlain Towers basement parking garage. The video shows workers standing in floodwater that comes nearly to the knee.

"#MDFR #TRT & #FLTF1 are working in the basement parking garage at Champlain Towers. Firefighters continue working on locating possible victims, while dealing with heavy damage and changing conditions in the parking garage. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse," the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue posted.

#MDFR #TRT & #FLTF1 are working in the basement parking garage at Champlain Towers. Firefighters continue working on locating possible victims, while dealing with heavy damage and changing conditions in the parking garage. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse pic.twitter.com/qseknk0T8q

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021

Search and rescue hear sounds under rubble using sonars

During a press conference Thursday evening, Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Chief Raide Jadallah said crews are using sonar and search cameras to conduct searches through building rubble.

They had to shift resources to a parking garage underneath the building that will allow them to tunnel through the rubble to conduct search and recovery efforts on each floor of the building.

Watch LIVE as officials give an update regarding the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse:https://t.co/Wwkl5T43ZY

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021

"All operations are occurring underneath the rubble," Jadallah said. "They are occurring underneath the parking garage where we have teams of firefighters constantly as they continue making cuts, breaches and placing sonar devices, search cams to locate victims."

"The process is slow and methodical," he added.

Their operations could shift the rubble which may result in falling debris and small fires.

Jadallah confirmed that crews did encounter a small fire earlier this afternoon as a result of shifting rubble. He said it was extinguished within 20 minutes and then went back to conducting their search.

Jadallah said 37 in total have been pulled from the structure and 11 patients are being treated at local hospitals. Officials are still only reporting one death.

He also denied reports that crews rescued two people heard under the rubble earlier this afternoon.

"We did receive sounds," Jadallah said. "Not necessarily people talking, but sounds. What sounds like people banging, not people but sounds of a possibility of a banging. We haven't heard any voices coming from the pile."

Search and rescue efforts will continue into the night and fresh crews will be brought in tomorrow morning.

Miami-Dade Police Director Freddie Ramirez said police are "doing everything to bring information to families."

He understands the families are frustrated but asked for their "painful patience."

State of Emergency declared, 102 people now accounted for

At the latest press conference following the Surfside building collapse, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said search and rescue teams are "leaving no stone unturned" in their efforts.

She said 102 people have been accounted for, almost double the amount from the last update. She said those accounted for are safe.

However, at least 99 people are still unaccounted for.

Families at the reunification center are being briefed on which of their loved ones are and aren't accounted for.

Cava also said she declared a state of emergency and that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis "has an emergency order on his desk" as well.

This means, she said, Surfside will get FEMA support from President Joe Biden.

She added that local officials have provided food, hotel lodging, medical aid and social services. An emergency fund has been set up at supportsurfside.org

Biden says FEMA is "ready to go" to Surfside

President Joe Biden said that federal resources are "ready to go" to assist local officials at the building collapse in Surfside.

He said FEMA is waiting for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.

"We are on top of it, we are ready to move from the federal resources immediately," Biden said. "If in fact we're asked for it. But we can't go in and do it, but FEMA is down there taking a look at what's needed."

Biden said his chief of staff Ron Klain and members of his cabinet are "deeply involved" in the movement of federal resources.

"I say to the people of Florida, 'Whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we're waiting, just ask us, we'll be there,'" Biden said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava urged Governor DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for the building collapse in order to receive federal aid and resources.

DeStanis' communication team told Florida State Capitol reporter Forrest Saunders that "DEM and the state has responded to every request and at this time every need has been met. If they have additional requests or a need for a local state of emergency we stand ready to respond."

Just got this response from @GovRonDeSantis comms team on emergency dec... "DEM and the state has responded to every request and at this time every need has been met. If they have additional request or a need for a local state of emergency we stand ready to respond." pic.twitter.com/5aPPiCAskM

— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) June 24, 2021

Miami Heat players pass out supplies to first responders

Players from the Miami Heat are onsite at the collapsed building in Surfside.

"This is 12 miles from our arena," Heat vice president and charitable fund executive director Steve Stowe told The Miami Herald. "We heard about this, and our immediate reaction was that we had to find a way to help."

So Stow rounded up guard Tyler Herro and assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Eric Glass and others to fill up a truck with water, food and other essentials for front liners.

"Kind of like what we do when [Hurricane] Irma hit or when any of these tragedies happen, and we went to ground zero and unloaded all the supplies," Stowe said. "They spoke to the first responders just to lift their spirits a little bit."

Miami Heat player Tyler Herro and assistant coach Chris Quinn just arrived near scene of partially collapsed building in Surfside. Offloading water bottles, snacks out of a truck. Police PIO said Heat called to help out. pic.twitter.com/suflnZiHDK

— Martin Vassolo (@martindvassolo) June 24, 2021

The Heat's partner, World Central Kitchen and Direct Relief, were also on their way "to deliver more hot meals and food trucks and help with some of the displaced victims."

"The bigger picture is this is going to be going on for a while," Stowe added. "But we wanted to just get there and show everybody that we're with them and it's really nice that Tyler took the time this morning to do that."

Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay citizens missing in Surfside

The consulates of Venezuela and Argentina say several of their citizens are unaccounted for after the building collapse in Surfside.

Brian Fincheltub, Venezuela's consular affairs director, said on Twitter that they have identified four citizens that are in the building.

Desde la madrugada haciendo seguimiento sobre el trágico desplome del edificio en Miami. Hasta el momento tenemos 4 venezolanos desaparecidos que se encontraban en el edificio. Ya estamos en contacto con las autoridades que realizan la búsqueda y sus familias.
D.OS con nosotros!

— Brian Fincheltub (@BrianFincheltub) June 24, 2021

"We are already in contact with the authorities that are searching and their families," he tweeted.

The Argentine consulate in Miami said nine citizens are currently missing, according to a press release shared on Twitter.

pic.twitter.com/rLHKM6x2TB

— Consulado General de la Argentina en Miami (@ARGenMiami) June 24, 2021

Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez's ministry of external relations said relatives of first lady Silvana López Moreira are unaccounted for following the collapse of the condo building in Surfside.

The sister of first lady Silvana López Moreira lives with her husband and three children on the 10th floor of the partially collapsed building.

Six Paraguayans are unaccounted for at this time, the ministry tweeted Thursday.

El @mreparaguay comunica que está realizando un monitoreo permanente sobre el derrumbe de un edificio residencial en Miami, EEUU 🇺🇸. Hasta el momento, se registran 6 paraguayos desaparecidos.

— Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (@mreparaguay) June 24, 2021

99 people missing following building collapse

Local South Florida NBC affiliate WTVJ is reporting that 99 people are missing following the collapse at the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside.

These updated numbers come from Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez.

Ramirez also said that 53 people have been accounted for, but their condition is unknown at this time.

Those who are still unaccounted for may not have been home when the building collapsed.

There is still only one fatality reported at this time.

99 people unaccounted for! 53 people accounted for. Dogs are searching the grounds. #SurfsideBuildingCollapse @winknews pic.twitter.com/Iw11MSXIlk

— Morgan Rynor (@Morgan_Rynor) June 24, 2021

Champlain Tower survivor shares story of his rescue

Barry Cohen told the Associated Press about his and his wife's dramatic rescue from the Champlain Towers South Condo after its collapse.

Cohen said he and his wife were awoken by what they thought was a thunderstorm early Thursday morning.

When they got up and opened the door leading out to the hallway, they saw a pile of rubble and smoke.

"I couldn't walk out past my doorway," Cohen, 63, said. "A gaping hole of rubble."

They tried to take the stairs down to the pool area but the door wouldn't open. So they descended to the basement and found rising water there.

The couple returned upstairs, screaming for help. They were eventually rescued by firefighters using a cherry-picker used to lower people to the ground, he said.

"I thank them," Cohen said. "They had such a hard job. It's amazing what they do. I'm always happy to be alive, but I'm even happier today."

A fire broke out at Champlain Tower collapse site

There are now reports of plumes of smoke coming from a building at the Champlain Tower South site.

WTVJ reporter Ryan Nelson said it seems firefighters actively putting out a fire. He said he smelt something burning and then saw water sprayed on the building by firefighter hoses.

#BREAKING: Firefighters are trying to put out fire at site of partial building collapse in #Surfside. @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/WNqR49Hgbb

— Ryan Nelson (@RyanNelsonTV) June 24, 2021

Other reporters at the family unification center said they heard fire engines race to the collapse site.

Biden has been briefed on situation in Surfside

President Joe Biden told reporters Thursday afternoon that he has been briefed on the situation in Surfside.

"I have spoken with the mayor, I've spoken with the congresswoman, and I'll have more to say later," he told reporters at the White House.

An official told CNN that the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working with local officials to provide assistance.

"This morning the President spoke with Mayor Levine Cava and offered federal assistance and support for dealing with the terrible tragedy in Surfside," the official said. "White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain spoke with Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz, in whose district the building is located, and the White House and FEMA are coordinating with local officials to provide assistance if needed."

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their beloved as a result of this horrific incident – and to those families who wait in anguish as search-and-rescue teams assess the situation," the official added. "The White House is continuing to monitor the situation, and we send our gratitude to the heroic first responders who are working tirelessly to save lives this morning."

DeSantis: Search and rescue crews made contact with survivors in rubble

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at the scene in Surfside where a condo building collapsed early Thursday morning.

He called it a "tragic day" as he toured the complex and spoke with a local official and said that the images on television do not do justice to the destruction on the scene.

He said that search and rescue efforts are continuing this afternoon and that crew members have made contact with survivors in the rubble.

DeSantis said that engineers are looking into the cause of the collapse. Although they are "Working diligently," there will not be "immediate answers."

He added that the Red Cross has set up short-term setups in hotels as well as blankets and clothing for survivors to ensure displaces people have somewhere to go.

City, county and state officials are working on longer-term needs.

Five state agencies, including law enforcement, health and medical and Department of Transportation forces, are on the scene to assist local officials.

Video captures moment apartment collapsed

Rosie Santana shared a video on Twitter showing footage of the moments the Champlain Towers building collapsed.

The video is from a motion-sensor camera set up inside her family's two-bedroom condo on the 7th floor of the building.

@AgendaFreeTV I am a resident of one of the condos on the side of the collapse. This is a video from my camera footage inside from the start of the collapse until the lose of connection (I was away from the building today). Towards the end, you hear the structure failing pic.twitter.com/UzBJQogUxp

— rosie✨ (@_rosiesantana) June 24, 2021

"That's our apartment, my family apartment," Santan told CNN. "I actually left for the weekend yesterday and I always set up a camera when I leave, so that was the footage I got. It only records when it detects movement so... it detected movement, it recorded that piece, and then it lost connection."

She said the apartment was "basically a vacation home," but she has been there for the past three weeks.

The apartment was one of those that collapsed.

"It's just dust, there's no hope for it basically," she said.

Officials ask building residents to fill out a wellness check

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is asking residents of the Champlain Tower building to fill out a wellness check form in order to account for all tenants in the building.

The form asks residents to fill out their name, contact information, building unit number and whether or not all the people living in the apartment have been accounted for.

If you live at the Champlain Towers at 8777 Collins Avenue, please complete a Wellness Check Form as part of Miami-Dade County's efforts to ensure all tenants of the building are located: https://t.co/7sGY83fDvQ #SurfsideBuildingCollapse

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called the situation at the family reunification center "heartbreaking."

She said the center is full of loved ones of residents and people staying in the building on vacation.

"People are in despair," she added during a press conference.

A WTVJ reporter said that people, including young children, who were evacuated from the building are also at the center.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman told CNN about an hour ago that rescue crews have completed searching and are now transitioning to recovery efforts.

"The rest of the search and rescue efforts has been done by manpower on the outside, search on the barrier quarters, also with drones and with dogs," she said. "It has shifted now or started to shift to recovery."

She said fire rescue and first responders went through the entire part of the building that is still standing.

51 people unaccounted for after condo collapse

Miami-Dade County Commissioner told CNN that 51 people are still unaccounted for following the collapses of parts of the Champlain Tower in Surfside.

"We have 51 people that were assumed to have been there, but you don't know between vacations or anything else, so we're still waiting," Heyman told CNN by phone. "The hope is still there, but it's waning."

Heyman said those 51 people who "supposedly" lived in the building were a mix of year-round families and part-time "snowbirds" who live in Florida during the winter months.

Heyman told clarifying to WTVJ that these people are not necessarily missing, they are just unaccounted for because officials do not have a record of which residents were in the building at the time of the collapse.

She added that this number comes from sources she has in the Miami-Dade police and fire departments.

Officials are urging people to call 305-614-1819 if they know someone who may have been in the building at the time of the collapse.

Families are gathered at the Reunification Center at the Surfside Community Center trying to find their loved ones who are still unaccounted for.

There are dozens out still searching for their loved ones at the Reunification Center from the #SurfsideCollapse. There more inside the Surfside Community Center at 9801 Collins Ave. Again if you’re trying find someone call 305-614-1819 pic.twitter.com/5EriXCqhNv

— Marcine Joseph (@MJ_Reports) June 24, 2021

Nicolas Fernandez told the Associated Press that he has been waiting since early Thursday to contact close family friends who lived in the collapsed section of the building.

"Since it happened, I've been calling them nonstop, just trying to ring their cellphones as much as we can to hep the rescue to see if they can hear the cellphones," he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeStanis is "bracing for bad news"

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called the building collapse "a tragic situation."

At a press conference at Hillsborough Community College Thursday morning, he thanks first responders and said he spoke with local mayors and has dispatched state resources to assist in rescue efforts.

Governor Ron DeSantis thanks first responders after a building partially collapsed in Surfside, early Thursday morning. Go to the link below or the NBC 6 app for live coverage. https://t.co/uR8wsFmt04 pic.twitter.com/O2RffgJwFV

— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) June 24, 2021

"The state will help out in any way we can," he said.

However, DeSantis said he is "bracing for bad news giving the destruction."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted about the "horrible images" emerging from the building collapse.

Horrible images emerging the partial collapse of a condo building in #Surfside #Florida last night. @MiamiDadeFire has one of the best urban search and rescue teams in the world & they have been on the scene for hours searching for victims & survivors.

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 24, 2021

Video shows the moment Champlain Towers collapsed

Surveillance video from a nearby building shows the moment the Champlain Towers building in Surfside collapsed early Thursday morning.

JUST IN: Video I’ve obtained of the building collapse in Surfside, Florida. pic.twitter.com/BGbRC7iSI9

— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) June 24, 2021

Residents were in shock as they described the chaotic scene in the aftermath of the building collapse to local reporters. Many described the sound as a bomb or earthquake.

Santo Mejil told the Miami Herald his wife works as an aid for an elderly woman in the condo. He said she called him from the building.

"She said she heard a big explosion. It felt like an earthquake," Mejil told the newspaper. She called him later to say that rescuers were bringing her down.

Building resident Ofe Osin-Cohen told WTVJ that many people in the Towers were snowbirds and weekenders who have homes in other parts of the state. She said the pool area has been crowded with "quite a few people."

Osin-Cohen said she "doesn't want to think about the screams" she heard as she evacuated the building. She wasn't sure where those screams were coming from.

One survivor told WTVJ that he believes his apartment is "demolished." He described a "cloud of dust and cement" in the aftermath of the collapse.

There are year-round and seasonal residents living in the building. It is unclear how many people are missing. The building owner keeps a log of visitors but does not have a record of residents inside as of Thursday morning, according to WTVJ.

Miami-Dade officials hold press conference as rescue efforts continue

During a press conference, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called the collapse "unimaginable."

She said that about half of the 136 units in the Champlain Tower have collapsed.

She referred families to the emergency number to report missing loved ones and to check in to account for those who are safe. She also said that a range of social services, including a chaplain, are on the scene and will be available for the survivors and families of victims.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz called this a "very sad moment for the community."

#HappeningNow: (6-24-21) Press Conference on the Surfside Building Collapse. https://t.co/6R42Q6OzFS pic.twitter.com/wqs3SI7Bf5

— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Chief Raide Jadallah said units arrive at the scene at approximately 1:30 a.m.

He said 55 units on the northeast corridor collapsed. As search and rescue efforts continue, Jadallah said 35 people were pulled from the structure and 2 people were pulled from the rubble. Officials do not know the exact number of people who were in the building and therefore do not know how many people are still missing.

Ten people were treated on-site and two were transferred to the hospital, where one person has died.

The press conference was cut short due to lightning. Incoming rainfall over the area may hinder some recovery efforts, officials said.

Traffic near collapsed building diverted, public transit expecting delays

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue tweeted that over 80 units are on the scene to assist in rescue efforts to the building near 88 Street and Collins Avenue.

PULLED FROM RUBBLE: A young boy was pulled from the rubble where a beachfront condo tower collapsed in a Miami-area town. The collapse trapped residents in rubble and twisted metal and sent a cloud of debris throughout the neighborhood.

WHAT WE KNOW: https://t.co/4OlPzbxLTp pic.twitter.com/feu3YqiSIC

— WESH 2 News (@WESH) June 24, 2021

They are also rerouting traffic near the collapse site. Southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96 street. Northbound traffic is being diverted at 85 and Collins Avenue.

Due to the partial building collapse near 88 Street & Collins, southbound traffic is being diverted west on 96 Street. Northbound traffic is being diverted at 85 & Collins Avenue.

— Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (@MiamiDadeFire) June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade Transits also reported that routes 119 S and 120 are being detoured between 81 Street and 96 Street on Collins Avenue. They told travelers to expect delays this morning.

ALERT: Routes 119/S & 120 are being detoured between 81 St. & 96 St. on Collins Ave due to the #SurfsideBuildingCollapse. https://t.co/E4Xb2Qby3y

— Miami-Dade Transit (@IRideMDT) June 24, 2021

A family reunification center is set up at 9301 Collins Avenue for anyone looking for unaccounted or missing relatives. Family members are encouraged to call 305-614-1819 to account for missing loved ones.

The Miami-Dade Police Department will hold a press conference at 9:15 a.m.