New Zealand Cricket chiefs say the Black Caps feel "helpless" and "devastated" after hearing about the earthquake in Christchurch.

The side are currently in the sub-continent on World Cup duty but squad members Brendon McCullum and Hamish Bennett are both based in Christchurch, where a 6.3-magnitude quake hit yesterday, along with a handful of the team's support staff.

It is understood that both McCullum and Bennett will stay with the side after getting in touch with their families, but it is not known whether the backroom staff will have to leave the competition early.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan told "Obviously there's great concern among the team, a feeling of helplessness being so far away and seeing things unfold on CNN or over the internet.

"Trying to get in touch with people is really hard in terms of the mobile networks and people aren't necessarily where you normally think they should be."

Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori told the team's official website: "Five or six guys from the team and the management crew based in Christchurch so it's been a rough time finding out their families are safe," he said.

"For those guys it's going to be a distraction... they've got wives and children at home. It's going to be a testing time for everyone within the team.

"The biggest thing we can do for people is win our next game against Australia. That will bring a little bit of light relief to some people going through a tough time.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the Canterbury community."

Team manager Dave Currie added: "The team are devastated by what has happened.

"There have been a large number of enquires regarding team members and support staff who live in Christchurch and initial reports are that their immediate friends and family are safe.

"However, our thoughts are firmly with the people of Christchurch and deepest sympathy with those that have lost loved ones."