A Montgomery couple is happy to be alive after surviving the 7.9 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.
Nan and Keith Jensen took a two week vacation to visit India. After four stops, they reached their final destination Thursday in Katmandu, Nepal. Friday, the Jensens said they traveled along with their group of 22 Americans visiting all the sights but Saturday decided to slow down. When they returned to their hotel after a day of walking, the Jensens said that is when the earthquake hit.
"This was a rolling earthquake. It was just like you were on the sea just rolling and the whole earth was just moving and moving and we looked at each other and said this is an earthquake,” said Nan.
Nan and Keith huddled together on the floor pulling a comforter over their heads crawling on their hands and knees into the bathroom. Eventually, Nan said they made it outside their hotel where dozens were already gathered.
"I was just going to take a picture. Keith was kind of sitting there and I was going to take a picture. I'm videoing and (Keith) is just looking around and then all of a sudden this big aftershock and I was trying to stand up,” said Nan showing the cell phone video that captured the tremor.
The Jensens said they had no idea the magnitude of the earthquake until they made their way to the airport that closed down due to aftershock concerns.
"Just thousands of people lined up trying to get out of the country,” said Nan.
Right now, the death toll is just over 5,000 people. In a matter of seconds Nan said temples and buildings came crashing down in a cloud of dust. She said her group likely has some of the last pictures of the historic monuments.
"It's a really weird experience to think we were just there yesterday taking pictures and now it's gone. No one will ever take pictures of some of those places again. Those places don't exist,” said Nan.
Finally, three days after the earthquake, the Jensens flew into CVG and was greeted by their two daughters who traveled from Virginia and Minnesota to greet them. While the American group of 22 did not know much about each other, their children in the United States came together keeping a running log of every interaction with every group member to keep track of their movements. Those adult children are now planning an organized donation to Nepal to help with earthquake relief.
"We've just decided this is not going to define how we feel about this trip. It was a fabulous trip. We had a great time and great people to be with,” said Keith.