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Update: Number of people missing rises to 159 following Miami Beach condo collapse, 4 confirmed dead


Update: During a press conference on Friday morning, Miami-Dade officials released more information about the recovery efforts at the collapsed condo in Surfside.

Officials stated the number of deceased was raised to four from one and the number of missing rose from 159 from 99 overnight.

Governor Desantis declared a state of emergency for Miami-Dade County Thursday, enabling federal rescue, housing and financial assistance.


Lisa J. Huriash

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Several synagogues lie within walking distance of the condo tower that collapsed Thursday in Surfside, and a sizable number of the missing are Jewish.

Chabad of South Broward in Hallandale Beach said at least 34 of the 99 people unaccounted for are Jewish, and the number was rising throughout the day.

The Jewish community began early in the morning to spread the Hebrew names of people whose families said they were missing.

Part of the 12-story oceanfront Champlain Towers South Condo, with more than 100 units at 8777 Collins Ave., collapsed around 2 a.m. on June 24, 2021. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

The names went viral on private chats pleading for prayers. Chani Lipskar, the wife of the rabbi at the Shul of Bal Harbour, which is about eight blocks away, said thousands of people worldwide were reciting prayers for not only the missing Jewish people, but everyone else as well.

The prayers are called Tehillim, from the Book of Psalms.

Survivors displaced from the Surfside Florida building collapse board buses as they leave the Surfside Community Center on Thursday, June 24, 2021 where they had been waiting all day on word from authorities.

Lipskar’s synagogue took chocolate milk and sandwiches to the Surfside Community Center, where families were waiting for news of their loved ones

Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach congregants have offered their apartments and homes to families who have been displaced, according to the synagogue.

Because of the large Jewish community in the area, the tragedy made news in The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s English newspaper.

Also responding to the scene Thursday were first responders from Hatzalah of South Florida, who are medical first-responder teams that serve Jewish communities in major American cities.

Joe Dahan, the director, said 30 of his workers are triaging people from neighboring buildings who have been evacuated. His workers are helping tend to families who are waiting for word of their loved ones who are “in distress and in shock,” he said.

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