Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Daniella Silva

Three cranes collapsed in South Florida on Sunday as Hurricane Irma lashed the region with 120 mph winds and heavy rain, threatening a city where massive construction cranes dot the skyline.

A tower crane collapsed onto a high-rise building under construction in downtown Miami, the city said in a tweet Sunday morning.

“AVOID THE AREA!!” the city warned in the tweet.

The city said anyone in buildings in the area facing the crane should “seek shelter” in the opposite side of the building or in a stairwell.

A second crane collapsed later Sunday and was dangling from an unfinished high rise on Northeast 30th Terrace, reported NBC Miami.

And a third crane collapsed in Fort Lauderdale around 5:00 p.m., near Auberge Beach Residences and Spa, an oceanfront condo complex, the Miami Herald reported.

The Herald reported that authorities weren't aware of injuries related to any of the three accidents.

There are still about 20 to 25 cranes still up across Miami, according to city officials.

“These tower cranes are designed to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, not a Category 5 Hurricane,” the city said in a statement last week.

The cranes' arms had to remain loose and could not be tied down, said Maurice Pons, deputy director of the building department, in the statement.

A crane atop a building under construction appears after it collapsed as Hurricane Irma passes by, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in downtown Miami.Wilfredo Lee / AP

"The arm's counterbalance is very heavy and poses a potential danger if the crane collapses," he said.

Construction sites throughout the city were on lock-down leading up the storm.

Irma made landfall on Sunday morning over Cudjoe Key at 9:10a.m., the National Hurricane Center reported.

"Life-threatening storm surge is occurring now in the Keys and is expected to begin this morning in Southwest Florida," Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted early Sunday.