Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu is amongst those trapped under rubble in Turkey after a massive earthquake, according to reports.
Atsu, who has featured for Premier League clubs Chelsea and Newcastle United in the past, joined Super Lig club Hataysport last summer.
“Several members of his [Atsu] new team had to be rescued after the earthquake and Atsu is now reported to be amongst those still missing as a search and rescue operation gets underway. The club's sporting director, Taner Savut, is also trapped as efforts to free them continue,” English daily Mirror said in its report.
It must be noted that the most powerful earthquake in nearly a century struck Turkey and Syria Monday, killing nearly 1,800 people in their sleep, levelling buildings and causing tremors felt as far away as Greenland.
The 7.8-magnitude early morning quake, followed hours later by a slightly smaller one, wiped out entire sections of major Turkish cities in a region filled with millions who have fled the civil war in Syria and other conflicts.
Rescuers used heavy equipment and their bare hands to peel back rubble in search of survivors, who they could in some cases hear begging for help under the rubble.
"Since I live in an earthquake zone, I am used to being shaken," said Melisa Salman, a reporter in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras.
"But that was the first time we have ever experienced anything like that," the 23-year-old told AFP.
"We thought it was the apocalypse."
The head of Syria´s National Earthquake Centre, Raed Ahmed, called it "the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the centre".
Turkey is in one of the world´s most active earthquake zones.
The Turkish region of Duzce suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999, when more than 17,000 people died --including about 1,000 in Istanbul.
Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate Istanbul, a megalopolis of 16 million people filled with rickety homes.
The last 7.8-magnitude tremor shook Turkey in 1939, when 33,000 died in the eastern Erzincan province.
The story includes input from AFP.