West Ham defender Winston Reid has spoken of his sadness at the deadly earthquake that rocked his native New Zealand.
The 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch just before midnight on Monday (UK time). Reid had just scored his first goal for the club, in the 5-1 FA Cup win over Burnley, but delight turned to despair for the Kiwi after news of the earthquake broke.
"A thing like this happening puts it all into perspective," said Reid. "I heard about the earthquake and then saw the pictures of it all on the news. It is devastating and my heart goes out to everyone back home. It is not a large country, but the spirit among the people there will be what gets them through. They will all help each other out and will help each other to recover from what has happened. My thoughts are with everyone."
The earthquake is thought to have killed more than 65 people and left countless others trapped underneath the rubble.
Reid, 22, who was born in Auckland but moved to Denmark with his mother aged 10, still has many family and friends in New Zealand.
The young defender desperately tried to get through to his loved ones as soon as he heard about the earthquake and was relieved to find out that they were all unharmed.
"My immediate reaction was to call home to my family and friends – the problem was that because of the quake, the phone lines were all down, as you would expect, so it took a bit of time to get through, which was worrying," Reid said.
"I had to get messages through and then get them sent on to others and do it like that, but my family and friends are OK.
"Obviously everything is turned upside down, but they are all feeling so fortunate, and so am I, that they are all alive. That is the main thing because people have lost their lives and that is the most tragic thing," he added.
"I have not experienced an earthquake myself back home, but I know a few months ago there was a small tremor, so it looks like a bigger one had been building up – there is nothing you can do.
"Even if you live in a country where earthquakes happen, I don't think you are ever fully prepared for it. It is still a shock when it happens as you simply can't stop it or stop what it does."Reuse content