• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

LA search-and-rescue head home from NZ earthquake zone

The remaining L.A. County Urban Search and Rescue members deployed to the New Zealand earthquake zone will return home.

March 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A difficult mission accomplished for members of the Los Angeles County Urban Search and Rescue Team.

The remaining 44 team members deployed to the New Zealand earthquake zone are returning home Wednesday and Thursday. They spent two weeks assisting in rescue efforts following last month's 6.3-earthquake that killed at least 166 people.

Team members said they learned valuable lessons that can be applied here in southern California.

"Christchurch is a modern city, has modern buildings, has a European influence," said Tom Ewald from L.A. County Urban Search and Rescue. "So you very easily could find yourself looking at buildings that look just like downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena, many of the local communities here in Los Angeles County."

The final few remaining team members are scheduled to return home Thursday afternoon.