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Biden Will Visit The Surfside Condominium Collapse This Week

The White House says President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Florida Thursday to view first hand the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium.

Asked by reporters if he planned to visit Surfside, Biden said, "Yes I hope so, as soon as we can. Maybe as early as Thursday." The White House issued a formal announcement of the trip shortly afterward.

The official death toll in the collapse has risen to 11, with some 150 people unaccounted for.

The Biden administration has responded to the disaster, dispatching FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell to the scene earlier this week.

"[The agency] has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team, as well as building science experts, structural engineers and geotechnical experts to support search-and-rescue operations, and a mobile command center," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

Psaki said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also providing technical assistance for debris removal. Two FEMA-supported search-and-rescue teams are also involved in the response to the collapse.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has praised FEMA and the Biden administration for "stepping up to the plate" in providing assistance in the search and recovery effort.

Here's what we know about what led to the collapse. Follow more coverage on the aftermath here.

Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging people with information about loved ones who are either unaccounted for or known to be safe to call 305-614-1819.

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