Multiple Turkish media outlets report that Black Stars forward, Christian Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor in Turkey, is among thousands of people left under the rubble of Monday morning’s devastating earthquake in that country.
The 30-year-old, together with the director of his club, Taner Savut, are said to be the subject of a search by the search and rescue team.
Atsu was in action for the club over the weekend in their victory over Kasimpasa in the Turkish top flight with the Ghanaian scoring the only goal.
Hatayspor Sportif Direktörü Taner Savut ve Cristian Atsu, enkaz altında kaldı. Arama kurtarma ekipleri iki ismi arıyor.
— Yağız Sabuncuoğlu (@yagosabuncuoglu) February 6, 2023
🚨Former Chelsea and Newcastle United star Christian Atsu is amongst the victims reportedly trapped under rubble after a huge earthquake hit Turkey as search and rescue efforts get underway. 🇹🇷🙏
— Ekrem KONUR (@Ekremkonur) February 6, 2023
Say a prayer for Christian Atsu
— KhaLif (@Nuru_Khalif) February 6, 2023
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A powerful earthquake struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, killing more than 1,000 people as they slept and trapping many others in the early hours of Monday.
The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep.
Hours later, a second quake, which had a magnitude of 7.5, hit the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province.
So far, more than 900 people have died in Turkey and 500 in Syria.
Last September, the 30-year-old Black Star penned a one-year deal to join the Turkish side following a spell in Saudi Arabia.
Affected members of Hatayspor team
Two Hatayspor players, Burak Öksüz and Bertuğ Yıldırım have been pulled out of the rubbles and are in good condition.
Ekrem Ekşioğlu and Osman Ateş, who are members of the technical team, have also been found and are in good condition.
Speaking about the issue, Turkish journalist, Kadir Onur Dincer, told Joy Sports, “There was a huge earthquake in Turkey last night and the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.7 and 11 cities were affected and one of was Hatay, located in the south of the country.
“Two football players from Hatayspor were taken out from under wreckage but one of them is perceived to be still under wreckage in Hatay city and he is Christian Atsu. He scored a goal in the club’s last game [on Sunday] but today according to the news, Atsu cannot be reachable at the moment
“The rescue teams are trying to find him at the moment.”
Social media reaction
The news about Atsu, who is very popular in Ghanaian social media circles because of his affable and jovial nature, quickly shot up the trends.
As at 1400 GMT on Monday, the terms Christian Atsu and Turkey were top two trends on Twitter.
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