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SFO Passengers Express Relief After Arriving From New Zealand

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Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand plane (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Following a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake, the first New Zealand flight to arrive in the Bay Area landed Tuesday at San Francisco International Airport.

>> New Zealand Quake Responders Trained In Bay Area

>> Fault Causing Deadly New Zealand Quake Similar To San Andreas Fault

Officials said dozens of people were killed in the quake and many more were still reportedly missing.

Leslie Rudd, who was born and raised in Christchurch, said she was relieved to learn upon landing in San Francisco that her 94-year-old mother was not among the victims.

“I was worried until I found out my mom, my sister and my brothers were alright,” she said. “They’re all okay.”

Rudd, who is in San Francisco to visit her son, said there was major damage to her home in Christchurch.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

The city’s signature cathedral was toppled by the tremor. A terrible blow, said Bob Fusco, an American who spends part of the year living just north of Christchurch.

“It’s a beautiful city. It really is. It’s really a shame,” he said.

As the plane touched down in San Francisco, a team from Los Angeles County was on its way to help with recovery efforts, something Rudd said the entire country would work together to do.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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