Japan earthquake: Relief amid horror for British survivors of tsunami

Worried families of Britons feared dead in the Japanese tsunami have spoken of their huge relief as they finally heard from their loved ones.

Dawn Pearson, 66, had an agonising wait over the weekend until son Adam, who had been teaching English in the town of Kuji, got in touch.

‘It has been like living on a knife edge. There was a point when we did not know where he was and whether he was alive or dead,’ she said.

Mr Pearson, from Orpington, Kent, said: ‘For us, we have only started to realise since getting electricity and internet access what kind of scale this thing has been of.’

Another English teacher, 34-year-old Brian Hickebottom, from Birmingham, survived by taking refuge in a school along with his wife Sanae, 37, and five-month-old daughter Erin.

News of his safety was greeted with huge relief by his family, who had been wrongly informed he was dead.

Pictures: Check out more rescue images here:

Paul Harris, also from Birmingham, was giving a private English lesson in a department store in the city of Sendai when the quake struck on Friday.

His mother Daphne Harris, 82, said he ventured home after only a few hours to make sure his partner Kayoko was safe.

‘Everything in the house that could come down had come down but Kayoko survived by sheltering under the table,’ she said.

Fellow Briton Anna Francis was also teaching in Sendai, through Interac – a private provider of language teachers.

Interac trainer Cliff Aitkin heard from her on Monday after friends appealed for information.

‘She has moved out of her apartment because she had no power or water and is staying with a friend,’ he said.

About 4,700 relatives and friends of Britons believed to have been caught up in the disaster have contacted the Foreign Office.

More Japan earthquake: Relief amid horror for British survivors of tsunami

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