A former Chelsea and Newcastle star, Christian Atsu, is reportedly among those trapped under the rubble in Turkey after a huge 7.7 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Monday.
Search-and-rescue operation is ongoing and local media reports that the rescue team are desperately trying to find the Ghanian player.
Atsu formerly played for Chelsea and Newcastle United before joining Super Lig club Hataysport last summer.
Several members of his new team had been rescued after the earthquake struck and Atsu is reported to be among those still missing, after the earthquake hit hard in Kahramanmaras, where Hatayspor are based.
Along with Atsu, the Sporting Director of Hatayspor, Taner Savut, also remains missing under rubble at their respective homes. Reports also say some other football players are also still missing.
According to Aljazeera, the initial quake was followed by a series of aftershocks and then a 7.5-magnitude quake in the afternoon which drove the death toll to almost 1,800 people with dozens of buildings destroyed.
Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority confirmed that the earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time, in what has been described as the country’s most seismic occurrence in years.
The death toll has continued to rise and is close to hitting 1,800 across both countries.
Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said Nigeria is willing to support Turkey and Syria “in any way possible,” as he also commiserated with the governments and people of Turkey and Syria, and those who lost family and friends in the devastating earthquake.
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