Ghana national player Christian Atsu was rescued alive from the rubble of an earthquake that killed over 5,000 people in Turkey and neighbouring Syria.
Ghana national player and former Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu has been found alive in the rubble of an earthquake that killed more than 4,800 people in Turkey and neighbouring Syria, Ghana’s ambassador to Turkey said Tuesday.
Atsu, 31, joined Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor in September, based in the southern province of Hatay near the epicentre of Monday’s massive quake.
“I have good news coming. I am just getting information from the president of the Ghana association that Christian Atsu has been found in Hatay,” Francisca Ashietey-Odunton told Accra-based Asaase Radio, referring to a local Ghanaian community association.
The envoy gave no further details on his condition.
Hatayspor official Mustafa Ozat told Play Spor streaming channel on Monday that Atsu was still in the rubble and was trying to escape.
Atsu spent five seasons at Newcastle after an initial campaign on loan before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 2021.
He won the last of his 60 Ghana national caps in September 2019.
“We pray for Ghana International Christian Atsu and victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria,” the Ghana Football Association said on Twitter.
Dozens of nations have offered aid since the 7.8-magnitude quake struck early on Monday as people were sleeping. Freezing weather has hampered emergency efforts.
Multi-storey apartment buildings full of residents were among the more than 5,600 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses.
The 31-year-old Atsu joined Hatayspor, which is based in the southern city of Antakya, last year after a spell playing in Saudi Arabia.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked large parts of Turkey and neighboring Syria in the pre-dawn hours of Monday.
The quake was centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, and was felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt.
Hours later, a second 7.5 magnitude jolt, which was possibly an aftershock, struck more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) away from the epicenter of the earthquake and caused more destruction.
Turkish authorities said more than 3,700 buildings were destroyed. The death toll keeps rising.
Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo offered condolences to the people of Turkey on his official Facebook account and added: “We pray that our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, is found safe and sound.”