As the death toll continues to rise from the devastating earthquake that has left over a thousand dead in Turkey and Syria, there are fears former Chelsea and Newcastle star Christian Atsu is among those trapped under the rubbles.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked areas of Turkey and Syria on Monday, causing devastation across the countries.
The Ghanaian plays for Turkish club Hatayspor, who are based in the region of Kahramanmaras, one of the worst hit areas by the devastating quake.
The Daily Star reports several of Atsu’s teammates were also caught in the disaster, but have since been rescued and moved to safety.
A search-and-rescue operation has been launched to find the 31-year-old, as well as Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut who is also believed to be under the rubble.
According to Aljazeera, the initial quake was followed by a series of aftershocks and then a 7.8-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.
Atsu was on Chelsea’s books for four years but never played a senior match for the Blues, unlike his compatriot Micheal Essien who had a glorious time at the Bridge.
The Ghana star also played for Newcastle United who have since jumped to pray for the safety of their former player.
“Praying for some positive news, Christian Atsu.” Newcastle United posted on Monday.
Also John Dramani Mahama, former Ghana President, called for prayers for Atsu and his club director.
He wrote: ”Let’s continue to pray for our brother, Christian Atsu, and his club director. The city of Hayat is in the region affected by the earthquake. Let’s continue to pray that God spares their lives.”
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, 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.
Several other Ghana celebrities have also made similar calls for prayers for Atsu.
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