Ex-Chelsea star Christian Atsu rescued after being buried in rubble of Turkey earthquake

Former Chelsea star Christian Atsu has been rescued after becoming trapped under rubble in a huge earthquake, according to reports.

It is believed the father was on the ninth floor of an apartment building when two earthquakes struck Turkey today, destroying at least 12 cities and killing thousands.

Christian Atsu has been rescued after being buried under rubble, according to reports

Rescuers worked tirelessly to locate Ghana star Atsu after he was caught in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday, according to local media.

Several members of his new team had to be rescued from their homes after the earthquake struck at 4 a.m. local time.

Taner Savut, the sporting director of Atsu and Hatayspor, was reported missing under rubble at their respective homes.

After a huge search effort, the ex-Newcastle winger has been rescued and is in hospital, reports A Bola.

According to the Portuguese outlet, the 31-year-old has injuries to his right foot and breathing difficulties.

Atsu, who has three children with his wife Marie-Claire, plays for Hatayspor, which he joined last summer.

The earthquake was particularly severe in Kahramanmaras, where Hatayspor is based.

Atsu, who scored deep into stoppage time on Saturday to secure a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa, will leave St James’ Park in the summer of 2021 after making 121 appearances for the club.

He joined Chelsea from Porto for £3.5 million in 2013 but did not make a single appearance for the Premier League giants.

Atsu had loan spells at Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga, and Newcastle.

Rescuers are desperately searching for people trapped
Thousands of people have died after two powerful earthquakes

And the Magpies made his deal permanent in 2017 after Atsu played a key role in their promotion from the Championship.

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The ace ended up making 86 appearances for Newcastle before joining Al-Raed in 2021.

Atsu moved to Hatayspor last summer and has one goal in four games for the Turks.

It comes as many thousands are feared dead after two “once-in-a-century” earthquakes rocked Turkey and Syria today.

A massive 7.8 magnitude shock – one of the biggest for 100 years – was followed hours later by another huge 7.5 magnitude quake.

Frantic survivors used their bare hands to dig through the rubble of flattened homes and were filmed pulling children to safety amid scenes of utter destruction.

The twin earthquakes also sparked tsunami alerts on Mediterranean coasts in Greece, Cyprus and Italy, and shaking was felt as far away as Egypt and Iran.

By late afternoon the confirmed death toll was over 2,700 – but the US Geological Survey warned it could top 10,000 when rescuers have reached the worst hit areas.

Most victims were asleep when the initial mega quake hit at 4 am local time.

The 7.8 shock was the biggest in Turkey for “hundreds of years”, geophysics professor Martin Mai told the BBC.

It struck near Gaziantep in eastern Turkey at a depth of around 15 miles.

It was followed by dozens of powerful aftershocks that toppled already damaged buildings, leaving huge piles of dust in their wake.

Then, just before 1.30pm, a second massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake sent terrified residents fleeing into the streets.

Ex-Chelsea star Christian Atsu rescued after being buried in rubble of Turkey earthquake

Buildings were seen collapsing as rescue workers fled for their lives amid the dust and chaos.

The second quake, which was only six miles deep and had an epicentre 59 miles north of the first, would have been the most powerful in the region since 1999.

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According to a Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority official, it was “not an aftershock” and was “independent” of the previous quake.

Experts said it was on a separate fault line but was almost certainly triggered by the initial shock.