The players of Pakistan cricket teams, both men and women, who are currently in New Zealand for a two-match Test series, were escorted off their hotels in Nelson and Christchurch respectively, after an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 struck central New Zealand just after midnight.
According to US Geological Survey, the earthquake generated a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of the South Island.
All members of the Pakistan cricket team are safe in Nelson after an earthquake of high intensity hit New Zealand, team manager Wasim Bari has confirmed, Cricinfo reported.
"Some of the boys were in prayer, some were watching the India-England Test on TV when we felt the windows shake.
The whole room began to shake. We were on the sixth and seventh floor, and evacuated immediately. The hotel staff was very helpful. We are all safe," the former Pakistan wicketkeeper said.
Women cricket team skipper Sana Mir tweeted about the safety of the players in New Zealand.
All team members and staff is safe. Thanks for all your prayers and concern. #earthquakeNZ— Sana Mir (@mir_sana05) November 13, 2016
New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management warned of the risk of destructive waves along the country's entire east coast and urged residents in low-lying areas to evacuate and seek higher ground.
Anna Kaiser, a seismologist at GNS Science said a tidal signal or surge of up to one metre had been recorded in North Canterbury region of the South Island.
“That's reasonably significant so people should take this seriously,” she told Radio New Zealand.
The quake was centered 91 km north-northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on New Zealand's South Island. A 6.3 quake there in February 2011 killed 185 people and caused widespread damage.
The tremor, which was measured by New Zealand's Geonet at magnitude 6.6, was felt throughout most of New Zealand. Civil Defence said it was too early to assess the damage or whether there had been any injuries or deaths.
“The whole house rolled like a serpent and some things smashed, the power went out,” a woman who gave her name as Elizabeth told Radio New Zealand from her home in Takaka, near the top of the South Island.
Chris Hill, a fire officer in Cheviot, a coastal town near the quake's epicentre, said officials had gone door to door evacuating residents.
“Everyone seems OK here,” he told RNZ. “There's a lot of debris in houses, but at this stage it doesn't look like anything too bad has happened.” Residents in Wellington said glass had fallen from buildings into the streets and hotels and apartment buildings had been evacuated.
RNZ said the Wellington City Council had received multiple reports of significant damage.
A series of aftershocks were recorded around the country, some as strong as 6.1 magnitude.