A woman said her daughter and son-in-law felt their Moroccan hotel sway during Friday's earthquake before they exited the building and looked back to see smoke coming from their floor.
Esther and Steve Theodore were on holiday in capital Marrakesh when the earthquake hit.
The 6.8 magnitude quake struck at 23:11 local time on Friday, killing more than 2,000 people.
Jean McCarthy, who lives in Crowborough, East Sussex, said concerns for her relatives' safety had made for "a difficult 24 hours".
"They felt the hotel sway and move from side to side and they just grabbed what they could," Ms McCarthy explained.
"They ran down the fire exit, down the stairs, and got to the road outside. As they were coming down the stairs Esther said she could hear wailing and they could see smoke on their floor."
Ms McCarthy said the couple's family and friends were "tremendously worried" for their welfare.
She added she had asked her guardian angels to "look after them".
On Sunday, Ms McCarthy confirmed the pair, who live in Petts Wood, had returned to the UK.