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Miami-Dade Will Receive Aid From FEMA For The Condo Disaster, DeSantis Says

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state will be receiving federal assistance to help with the aftermath of the condo building collapse early Thursday morning in Surfside, Fla.

DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County on Thursday, which cleared the path for President Biden to approve federal emergency aid from FEMA in the early hours of Friday.

FEMA says it's sending technical experts and staff to support the recovery effort, adding that three urban search and rescue teams are also poised to help.

DeSantis said he spoke with FEMA Director Deanne Criswell on Thursday.

"They were great. They have supported some emergency assistance," the governor said Friday morning.

Search and rescue efforts are ongoing. The death toll from the collapse has risen to four, and 159 people are unaccounted for.

"They're trying to save lives and that's clearly the most important thing," DeSantis said.

The collapse of the building also means displacement for its residents, the governor noted. The number of people who already have been accounted for now stands at 120.

"The people that got out are never gonna go back and live in that building, of course. And so some of them have lost everything that they had."

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Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.