September 2021 – In the early hours of June 24, a large portion of Surfside, Florida’s, Champlain Towers South collapsed, destroying 55 of the oceanfront condominium’s 136 units. Fifteen members of an elite Israeli Defense Force (IDF) search-and-rescue team arrived June 27 to aid in rescue efforts underway at the disaster site surrounding the 13-story building.
Several members of Surfside’s large Jewish community were affected by the disaster and welcomed help from the IDF rescue team headed by Col. Golan Vach. After his team created a state-of-the-art 3D map of the condo to aid in the search of the mountainous pile of debris, Vach remarked, “It’s one of the most difficult and complicated situations that I’ve ever seen.”
Unfortunately, at press time, 94 deaths had been confirmed and at least 22 other residents were still missing.
timesofisrael.com, 6/27/21; reuters.com, 6/29/21;