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Fort Worth Couple Home After Quake Strikes Japanese Vacation

By Jane Slater, CBS 11 News
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OTSUCHI, JAPAN - In this handout images provided by the International Federation of Red Cross Japan,  civil defense teams search for survivors March 15, 2011 in Otsuchi, Japan. After a third explosion Tuesday at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government is telling people living within 20 miles to stay indoors with the windows closed because of the possibility of high levels of radiation being released from the plant. (Photo by Toshirharu Kato/Japanese Red Cross/IFRC via Getty Images)

OTSUCHI, JAPAN – In this handout images provided by the International Federation of Red Cross Japan, civil defense teams search for survivors March 15, 2011 in Otsuchi, Japan. After a third explosion Tuesday at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government is telling people living within 20 miles to stay indoors with the windows closed because of the possibility of high levels of radiation being released from the plant. (Photo by Toshirharu Kato/Japanese Red Cross/IFRC via Getty Images)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas couple said they are lucky to be home after spending the weekend in Japan.

Keiko and Ernest Couch were in Odawara, Japan shopping when the first earthquake hit. Odawara is about 60 miles from Tokyo and 228 miles from Sendei, the quake’s epicenter.

“I have been in earthquakes before but nothing like this,” said Ernest Couch.

Couch said they experienced violent shaking in Odawara and were immediately ushered into an auditorium for safety.

“Even though I am Japanese its amazing to me how calm they are…they just make a new environment and try to do the best they can at the moment,” said Keiko Couch.

Couch said they were given blankets, water and food and the people worked as a unit to address everyone’s concerns with children and the elderly taken care of first.

Couch said they stayed in the auditorium for a few hours but when they were told the last train to Tokyo was leaving the station they rushed on foot to get there.

Once they were in Tokyo, they said getting to the hotel proved to be the biggest challenge.

“There were 400 people or so at the cab stand in the dark,” said Keiko Couch.

They said their flight to the US was canceled Sunday, but they did manage to make it out Monday.

They said they are still in awe of the destruction overseas and stay glued to Japanese cable news for updates.

“We didn’t know it was so serious,” said Ernest Couch.

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