A Cookeville man is among thousands who are still recovering from the major earthquake in Japan last week. 25-year-old Seth Magdalena, a graduate of Cookeville High School and Tennessee Tech, tells Nashville's Channel 4 News that he was in the middle of teaching an English class in central Tokyo when the quake hit. Although many parts of the city were without power, Magdalena was able to talk with Channel 4 via the Internet telephone service known as Skype.
"When the lights above us started going back and forth, that's when I realized it was getting worse," he said. "Once we got under the tables, that's when it got really bad. There was a pole under the table, and it was shaking us against the poll, back and forth, several inches -- not just like a vibration; it was basically tossing us back and forth. And I couldn't say anything."
Magdalena said he was too scared to scream but that he feared those were his final moments. He said he thought the building would collapse because of how much it was shaking. Magdalena has recently been pursuing a career in modeling, but was a member of the award-winning Academic Team at Cookeville High School in 2004 and was graduated with honors from Tech in 2008.