Pakistan cricketers evacuated from hotels as earthquakes and tsunami hit New Zealand
Both men's and women's teams are safe even as Christchurch Test remains in limbo
In a shocking development, a series of high-intensity earthquakes accompanied in quick succession by a tsunami hit New Zealand during the late hours of Sunday. Thankfully, no casualties have been reported so far and both the men’s as well as women’s teams of Pakistan are also safe.
While Misbah ul Haq’s side is currently in Nelson preparing for the upcoming 2-Test series against the hosts, Sana Mir’s women’s team is in Christchurch in the middle of a tour comprising of 5 ODIs as well as a solitary T20I. Both sets of players have been evacuated from their respective hotels by the concerned authorities. However, they are understood to be shocked by the slew of powerful earthquakes and the tsunami.
“We were at the 7th floor of hotel, as soon tremors were felt we took emergency staircase to evacuate from hotel. We all are safe and currently having a walk, and we are still feeling the aftershocks”, an unnamed men’s team member was quoted as saying by Geo News.
Former middle-order batsman Basit Ali, who is now head coach of the women’s side, said, “It was so horrible and players were scared. We immediately moved out of the hotel, players were without slippers even. Thanks to the Almighty that we all are out safely.”
A strong quake of a magnitude of 7.4 struck the central part of New Zealand and triggered a tsunami on the coastal areas of the South Island. Another quake of a magnitude of 7.8 which hit less than 60 miles from Christchurch has placed the first Test at the Hagley Oval (starting on Thursday) in considerable doubt.
At Kaikoura, which is around 112 miles from there, a wave of more than 8 feet was registered. Even though Pakistan’s players had been slated to leave for the city early Monday, their plans now remain unsure.
Things should be more clear when the damage to infrastructure is taken stock of during Monday. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has warned the coastal areas due to the possibility of further tsunami activity in the coming hours.
It’s not the first time that Christchurch has suffered a natural calamity. The picturesque city had witnessed a massive quake during February 2011 which resulted in 185 casualties and more than 1600 injuries.
Pakistan Women’s Team Captain Sana Mir tweeted their safety:
All team members and staff is safe. Thanks for all your prayers and concern. #earthquakeNZ— Sana Mir (@mir_sana05) 13 November 2016
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key on Twitter:
I hope everyone is safe after the earthquake tonight. @NZcivildefence is looking into the impact of the quake. Follow them to stay updated.— John Key (@johnkeypm) 13 November 2016