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Grief, relief for father whose daughter survived quake

Rodrigue Laurent spent more than a day believing his daughter had diedin a horrific earthquake thought to have claimed thousands in Haiti’scapital city.

Rodrigue Laurent spent more than a day believing his daughter had died in a horrific earthquake thought to have claimed thousands in Haiti’s capital city.

Last night, he learned his 18-year-old daughter Rodelyne had indeed survived the 7.0-mangnitude quake, though her aunts and uncles had all died.

Laurent hasn’t seen his little girl since he left Haiti 15 years ago for a better life in Canada. “Not since she was three,” he said.

Since arriving in Edmonton, Laurent has worked to bring now 18-year-old Rodelyne to Canada.

Last week, federal officials denied his daughter’s immigration request.

“But now, she’s dead,” he told Metro through uncontrollable sobs, before she was able to make contact. with her father.

Rodelyne was one of thousands presumed killed in Port-Au-Prince as portions of the island country crumbled Tuesday. Communication systems in the country are shattered. Many Canadians are still unable to reach their loved ones.

When Rodelyne connected with her father, she told him she now calls her car home.

“My father is unaccounted for too. I can’t find him, and I can’t describe what’s happening to me now,” Laurent said. “There’s no way I can describe this.”

Laurent made contact with his family’s pastor in Port-Au-Prince, who couldn’t bear to describe the devastation. “He didn’t want to tell me. ‘I can’t give you that news,’ he said.”

As many as three million people are believed affected in Haiti, where piles of bodies now line the streets.

Alberta Red Cross volunteers are ready to deploy if requested by international delegates, spokeswoman Fatima Hasanali said. The organization predicts the relief effort will last for years.

Federal officials are urging anyone attempting to contact relative­s in Haiti to call the Ottawa emergency operations centre at 1-800-387-3124 for help.