People spend time at the beach during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida, in March 2022. Spring break takes place March through April as thousands of people flood South Florida beaches. File Photo by Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA-EFE

FL - Miami Beach declares state of emergency as mayor considers ending Spring Break

March 26 (UPI) -- Officials in Miami Beach have declared a state of emergency as "massive crowds" of Spring Breakers descend on the Florida city causing mayhem, including the shooting deaths of two people.

Alina Hudak, the city manager, signed the emergency declaration Wednesday which has allowed officials to impose measures "to protect the health and safety of persons and property." The emergency declaration is in effect through Monday.

It came after Miami Beach issued a weekend-long curfew earlier this month, which the city chose not to extend.

Hudak noted in the declaration that Miami Beach, located on 15 square miles of a small barrier island just east of Miami, has a population of just 90,000 residents but has become an "international renowned tourist destination" that has dealt with "unruly crowd control issues" since March 2021.

In this Spring Break season, Miami Beach has already recorded four arrests for aggravated assault and three for aggravated battery, according to the emergency declaration. There have also been seven arrests for robbery, 20 arrests for carrying a concealed firearm and 37 felony drug arrests.

At least 12 people have been arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer, as police attempt to maintain order in the small city.

Hudak said in the emergency declaration that the first deadly shooting occurred around 10:45 p.m. on March 17 on Ocean Drive while police officers stationed just half a block away. The second occurred just two days later around 3 a.m., just a few blocks away.

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