ROMULUS (WWJ) – Harrowing tales from travelers arriving at Detroit Metro Airport Monday morning from Tokyo, with their first-hand experiences of the earthquake.

Carys Owens couldn’t believe what was happening.

“I was holding on to a steel pillar and holding to a friend…it went on what seemed like forever. I was quite surprised. I’ve felt the shaking before, but it just went on and on and on and on,” she said.

Ownes told WWJ’s Ron Dewey the scariest part was not knowing what was happening to her family, with her son in school and her husband returning from a business trip. His hour-long trip from the airport by taxi wound up taking nine hours.

Mato Kimura arriving at Metro, saying things have calmed down in Tokyo following the quake, but after being trapped on a train, away from his hotel room for a day…and still unable to contact relatives, who are in the area where the earthquake was felt the most.

“I wanted to make a call to the center of the earthquake, and no way,” he said. “There’s no transportation, no electricity, no power, no gas. Everything has stopped.”

Allison Leone and her family endured a lot of shaking in central Tokyo, but they were no worse for the wear..

“My children were separated from me,” she said. “My daughter was in Disneyland, my husband was on the 48th floor of a hi-rise, and my son was in the subway. But we’re okay, no damage to out apartment. Central Tokyo is completely intact.”

Leone said the children were scared, but were okay once the family was able to get back together.

Many of the travelers arriving on the Delta flight to McNamara Terminal were taking  connector flights to destinations elsewhere. Detroit is a major hub for Delta flights to and from the east.

Monday, rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks to dig out bodies in Japan’s devastated coastal towns, as Asia’s richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands.

Millions of people spent a third night without water, food or heating in near-freezing temperatures along the devastated northeastern coast. Meanwhile, a third reactor at a nuclear power plant lost its cooling capacity, raising fears of a meltdown. Get the latest from CBSNews at this link.

How you can help:

If you would like to make a donation to the American Red Cross log onto You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army has also set up four ways you can donate to their disaster relief efforts in Japan:
– Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
– By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
– On-line at:
– By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Relief Fund, PO Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-072800.


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