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San Diego crews prepare to help in Florida condo collapse search

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 19:49:40-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego-based component of a federal disaster response team is on standby and ready to respond if necessary to the site of last week's mass-casualty condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, an agency spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department program manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Urban Search & Rescue California Task Force 8 "is in contact with FEMA, and our team stands ready to deploy to the collapse incident," SDFRD information officer Monica Munoz said.

The local personnel also are prepared to head to the East Coast to "assist with hurricane activity that's developing off the coast of Florida," if need be, Munoz added.

On Thursday, a member of CA-TF8 -- a civilian structural specialist -- went to Surfside, according to Munoz.

"This morning, structural specialists from other parts of California headed to Florida as part of a mission-ready package. ... There are other teams that are closer than our team that would also deploy to a hurricane before our team would go," the spokeswoman said. "Nevertheless, we stand ready if we are requested."

San Diego Fire-Rescue serves as host agency for the task force.

At least 22 people are dead and 126 others remain missing in the aftermath of the June 24 collapse of part of the 12-story beachfront condominium building near Miami, according to government authorities in Florida.