Christian Atsu is Rescued After Turkey Earthquake
A deadly earthquake hit southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria on Monday, and updates are still going on about the people’s status. On Tuesday, Ghana's Football Association announced that Ghanaian football player Christian Atsu was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building.
The football association shared the news on Twitter with a post that read, "We've received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment. Let’s continue to pray for Christian"
What Happened to Christian Atsu?
According to Atsu’s agent, Nana Sechere, the player is in stable condition at a local hospital after being successfully rescued.
The footballer was reported missing in Turkey’s Hatay province following the magnitude 7.8 quake and its aftershocks. Sources say that Atsu scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa hours before the earthquake.
When interviewed about Atsu’s disappearance, Sechere stated that Atsu had been playing poker until 3:30 a.m. local time with friends on Monday and got home around four in the morning. Sechere recalled that he received a call from Hatayspor club officials at 5 a.m. saying the building Atsu was in had been destroyed and that they couldn’t get hold of him.
The statement that confirmed Atsu’s rescue, did not say when Atsu was extracted from the debris and gave no details about his condition.
Who is Christian Atsu?
Christian Atsu Twasam is a Ghanaian professional footballer who plays for the Ghana national team. He won the last of his 60 Ghana national caps in September 2019. In addition, Atsu previously played for Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Everton, and Chelsea.
He had spent five seasons at Newcastle after an initial campaign on loan playing over 100 games before leaving for Saudi Arabia in 2021. When news of his rescue was confirmed, Newcastle United and Everton posted well wishes on their social media page.
On Newcastle United’s Twitter page, they wrote, "Our thoughts remain with Christian, his loved ones, and all those affected by Monday's devastating earthquakes."
Everton meanwhile wrote on their Facebook page, "We are relieved to hear @ChristianAtsu20 has been found and is recovering in hospital. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria."
Current Status of Earthquake Aftermath
In addition to the announcement of Atsu’s rescue, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay told reporters that 8,000 people had been pulled from under the rubble. He also said there were 20,000 people in national rescue teams.
Other than the rescue effort, dozens of nations have offered aid. Unfortunately, freezing weather has hampered emergency efforts. Downed buildings and destroyed roads have also made it difficult to find survivors and get crucial aid into affected areas. Several airports have also been closed after being damaged by the earthquakes.
Among the downed buildings are 5,600 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses.
So far, ten provinces had casualties reported, including Hatay, which is home to Atsu’s football team Hatayspor. There are 5,000 casualties confirmed in Turkey and Syria, with over 21,000 people injured.