Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Search and Rescue for Champlain Towers South Condominium Continue, with Assistance from Local, Federal Sources

At 1:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Thursday, June 24, the Champlain Towers South condominium, a 12-story building located in Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed with a section of units detaching and falling. Emergency crews were onsite within minutes and continue to actively search and rescue, utilizing dogs and technology to assist in identifying missing persons. As of 9:00 a.m. on Friday, June 25, the city confirmed 120 individuals have now been accounted for; however, search and rescue continue to look for 159 unaccounted for individuals. According to the BBC, Paraguayan officials declared relatives of Silvana López Moreira, the first lady of Paraguay, were among those missing. Among those accounted for, 37 were drawn directly from the rubble, and 11 of those individuals are currently hospitalized. Additionally, there are four confirmed deaths, resulting from the collapse. Surfside Vice Mayor Tina Paul told The Washington Post the condominium had just passed a roof inspection on Wednesday.

Twitter: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue 

The County has issued evacuation notices for the surrounding buildings to minimize risk of future injuries at the site. Following the incident, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued a local State of Emergency, with support from President Biden, immediately deploying resources for housing assistance and recovery efforts. The following day, June 25, federal assistance to supplement state and local response was authorized in a Disaster Declaration by President Joe Biden. This declaration gives the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authority to “identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”

Mayor Levine Cava noted that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue leads efforts on the scene, with over 80 Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department units currently supporting the response and recovery efforts, with assistance from municipal fire departments. Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said rescue groups “have the dogs, have the equipment coming, and they’re going to work through the night.” ABC-affiliated WPLG Local 10 reported groups of 10 to 12 from the Urban Search and Rescue Teams are hunting for any air pockets to locate trapped individuals. However, local news reports that rescue operations are hindered as debris from the structure continues to fall.

Twitter: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

In emergency situations, Hagerty encourages individuals to follow the guidance of state and local authorities. The Mayor’s office is closely coordinating with Miami-Dade County Police and Fire Rescue, as well as partnering with the American Red Cross and local civil service agencies to assist with injuries and displaced family members. 


  • Missing persons hotline: 305-614-1819 
  • Free bilingual emotional support services: 833-848-1762 
  • Family Assistance Center at Surfside Recreation Center 9301 Collins Ave for people who cannot locate family members who live in the building
  • Miami-Dade Fire Rescue encouraging anyone who lives at the collapsed condo (8777 Collins Ave) to complete this Wellness Check Form to ensure all tenants are accounted for