WINONA, Minn. (AP) — A group from Winona State University traveling in New Zealand reports it was not involved in the devastating earthquake that struck one of the largest cities in that island nation.

The university says the 30 students and two faculty members in a travel study group have reported they are safe and in Queenstown — about 300 miles away from Christchurch, where at least 75 people are dead after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake.

The group left on Jan. 19 for a semester-long Pacific Challenge, which includes travel in New Zealand and Australia.

KAGE-AM reports the group was in Christchurch just three days ago. Students in the tourism planning class were investigating the effects on local tourism from an earthquake that struck Christchurch last September.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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