MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, Tokyo’s Narita airport closed, ports shut down and rail service stopped, leaving a Minnesota man caught in the chaos.
Jesse Davey was buckled in his seat, ready to take off on a Delta Airlines flight back to the Twin Cities 15 minutes before the quake hit.
“It was quite an experience,” said Davey, adding that it felt like the plane was in turbulence while it shook in the throes of the earthquake. “It shook from side to side, forwards and backwards. You could feel the whole plane, the whole plane shaking.”
The force of the earthquake was so great that it caused the 747’s wings to flap for a minute, Davey said.
“I looked out the window and saw a grounds crew man walking along, and he just stopped and put out his hands, and then I started to realize it might be an earthquake,” Davey said.
Davey and the other passengers sat in the plane for hours.
To entertain themselves, passengers on the full-flight watched movies and ate snacks that flight-attendants provided.
“We really thought we were getting off and not going anywhere,” Davey said.
Then the captain surprised passengers with news he had been cleared for takeoff and everyone in the plane cheered.
“They ultimately ended up, just saying, ‘We don’t know what to do with these guys. If they’re already on the plane, let them go,'” Davey said. “So my understanding is we were one of five planes to get out yesterday, so pretty fortunate for that.”
Davey landed in the Twin Cities Friday.