New Jersey Family Learns Haitian Relatives Survived, but Worrying Continues

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Yamilee Bazile finally can breathe a sigh of relief.

After three anxious days of waiting in the wake of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed countless Haitians, Bazile, a first-generation Haitian-American, learned her uncle and cousins are alive.

On Thursday, Bazile's parents in New Jersey spoke with relatives in New York who had been told by friends that her uncle had survived the quake and that a cousin in Haiti had managed to get to Florida. He later called to let them know he was fine.

"We are so overwhelmed," Bazile, 35, told "It was a rough couple of days.

"I can't say how much we are relieved that he and my cousins are okay. We are still praying for family of friends who are still missing and hoping our family continues to be safe."

Bazile and her parents, like most Americans who have loved ones in Haiti, spent the hours and days after Tuesday's earthquake furiously calling, e-mailing and searching the Internet for the status of her relatives.

But she said her family in Haiti isn’t completely out of the woods.

She said her uncle used to live in the United States, but he moved back to Haiti about five years ago. He lives and works in Port-au-Prince – the Haitian capital that was the hardest hit part of the country.

"Their house is cracked and at least partially destroyed," Bazile said. "They are sleeping on the side of the road. We are still worried because they are homeless, but we are glad they are alive. We just hope they stay safe and go somewhere they can get help."

She said she wants to hear from her uncle and cousins directly.

"A text, an e-mail, something written by them."

The anxiety was turned up a notch because her uncle's son is attending college in Georgia.

"He kept calling to find out if we heard any news," she said.

Bazile said she has an aunt whom the family hasn’t heard from, but she lives in an area of Haiti that wasn’t hit as hard, so they believe she is OK.

She said that even though her family survived, it’s heartbreaking to watch what is happening in her family’s native country.

"I was watching the news with my dad and he couldn’t watch it after 20 minutes," she said. "He was sick to his stomach watching what his friends and the people he knows there are going through."