Ghanaian football player, Christian Atsu is reportedly stuck under rubble after an earthquake struck Turkey early Monday morning.
According to reports, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake erupted near southeast Turkey and northern Syria and generated several aftershocks.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time. Multiple aftershocks continued to affect the area.
The death toll has topped 2,300 and is rising. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least 8,500 have been injured in the country. At least 1,280 injuries have also been reported in Syria.
A 7.8 magnitude tremor struck southern Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday morning, before a subsequent 7.5 magnitude quake. A major rescue operation is underway in the region with more than 1,000 people dead and many more injured or missing.
Reports in Turkey suggest that Atsu, the 31-year-old former Chelsea and Newcastle winger, is among them.
The Ghanaian joined Hatayspor last summer, and the club’s sporting director Taner Savut is also thought to be trapped.
Istanbul-based journalist Yagiz Sabuncuoglu tweeted: “Hatayspor Sporting Director Taner Savut and Cristian Atsu were left under the rubble. Search and rescue teams are looking for two names.”
Several people in the soccer community have offered prayers and support that both are found safely.
Turkish television outlet TRT Haber reported that athletic performance coach Murat Bel was found safe.
His family is considered in good condition. Fellow Haytaspor players Burak Öksüz, Bertuğ Yıldırım, Kerim Alici and Onur Ergün were also rescued.
Atsu is a professional soccer striker who currently plays for Hatayspor soccer club.
He also starred for Chelsea and Newcastle United during his career. In international play, he made 65 appearances for Ghana.
He scored nine goals for his national team and was named to the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.