An American's Escape From Japan

An American's Escape From Japan

More video is surfacing showing the overpowering force of the tsunami that swept over Japan

Footage of the moments the tsunami hit shows the driver of a small car frantically racing to get away from the raging waters as warning sirens blare.

Almost instantly the street became a river with fierce rapids, sweeping away everything in its path. Cars and trucks are helpless against the unstoppable wall of water. Buildings were ripped from their foundation.

Scenes like that make Brian Barnes's story of survival even more extraordinary. INSIDE EDITION spoke with Barnes, the American who documented his harrowing escape from the deadly tsunami with his video camera.

He is now safe at home in Los Angeles after his terrifying journey.

Barnes and three other Americans found refuge on top of a steep hill and captured dramatic images of the fierce wave flooding ashore in the town of Otsuchi.

"Basically it was recording the last minutes of a town," says Barnes of the video he shot.

He shared never-before-seen footage from the day after the disaster struck, as he tried to navigate his way out of the ravaged town.

"It looks like, literally, like a bomb has just gone off around here," Barnes observed while shooting the video. "We just climbed through all of this smoke and fire."

INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret spoke with Barnes. He asked, "You've been a storm chaser and you've seen destruction before. How would you compare what you saw in Japan to the storms you've covered?"

"There's absolutely no way to compare any disaster that I've seen in the past to what I went through and what I witnessed," Barnes says.

Barnes had to abandon his rental car and walk for miles in hopes of reaching his hotel.

"When you saw that wave coming toward you, did you think you were going to die?" Moret asks.

"Absolutely, I was very lucky to be able to walk out of that town," Barnes says.