Ghanaians talk about the Turkey earthquake and how Christian Atsu was saved

 While he might have made the headlines because of his status as an international footballer, Ghanaian star, Christian Atsu Twasam, was not the only one who was caught in the devastating earthquake in Turkiye last Monday.

Ghana students in Turkey
Ghanaians in Turkey

There were other more Ghanaians who recounted their experiences with the earthquake, which also impacted Syria and is believed to have so far claimed more than 6,000 lives. Some of these Ghanaians reside permanently in Turkiye, while others are there as students.
The Ghanaians who shared their experiences with BBC’s Focus on Africa characterized the earthquake as a horrible and terrifying event.
They claimed that because their flats had been severely damaged, they had lost their homes and would now need to hunt for new places to live.
Musah Hamid Issah, a survivor of the earthquake, said, “It was a scary experience and I can only be thankful for being alive, although I have lost everything, as the building completely collapsed. Others recounted similar experiences with relief.
Nearly immediately following the incident, Nasser Abdallah, one of the students, claimed that members of the “Association of African Students (AFSA) in Ardana began sending messages to one another, and everyone who knows someone tried to reach him or her just to make sure everyone was accounted for.”
When news broke yesterday morning that Atsu had been found alive and was being treated at the hospital, the anxiety that most Ghanaians and many football fans had been feeling since last Monday was replaced with relief and excitement.

Earthquake

Two significant earthquakes struck different regions of Turkey and neighboring Syria in a matter of minutes. The first one, with a magnitude of 7.8, and the second one, with a magnitude of 7.5, struck southern Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of last Monday.
Turkiye’s residential neighborhoods, as well as Antalya, Diyarbakir, KahramanmaraƟ, Adyaman, and Hatay, were among the areas hardest damaged by the earthquake.
According to numerous media outlets, 5,000 people had died as of yesterday, while numerous others were still alive but injured in the ongoing search-and-rescue operation.
According to Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, more than 8,000 people have so far been rescued from the rubble in Turkiye.
Aproximately 380,000 people have sought sanctuary in hotels or government shelters, while others have gathered in malls, stadiums, and other public spaces.
Among the 85 million people living in Turkey, according to Recep Tayyip Erdoan, 13 million were somehow impacted.
As a result, Turkiye has proclaimed a state of emergency in 10 regions to coordinate the response.
To speed up the endeavor, only cars providing help are currently permitted to enter KahramanmaraƟ, Adyaman, and Hatay, the three worst-affected provinces.

Experiences

Despite having to contend with the earthquake, rain, and chilly weather as it was still winter in Turkiye, Mr. Abdallah, a Ghanaian student studying in Adana, 150 miles from Gazientep, said it was all “bearable given what others have gone through.”
Around 4:15 a.m., as I was working on my laptop, I abruptly noticed that it was shaking. It began with a light tremble and quickly became very heavy.
“Then the home’s lighting system started to tremble as well. It began as a small shaking that grew in size. We all hurried outside because everything was trembling, he told the BBC Africa Service.
Ibrahim, a fellow Ghanaian who resides in Konya with his partner and their one-week-old child, expressed his gratitude for his continued survival following the earthquake.
He claimed to have a furnished apartment but that because many of his coworkers’ homes had been destroyed, they were currently being forced to live in parks.
Three female Ghanaian soccer players who also compete in Turkiye affirmed their safety.
Former Ghana Women’s Premier League players Regina Antwi, Gifty Assifuah, and Queenabel Amankwah assured friends that they were safe, and their former team, Hasaacas Ladies, backed up their statements.

Atsu is alive

Before Atsu was found alive, he had to spend more than 25 hours buried beneath the debris.
Atsu’s Turkish club, Hataysor, Vice-President Mustafa zat, told Turkish radio that although Taner Savut, the club’s sporting director, was still within the fallen building as of yesterday morning, despite Atsu having been rescued.
Radyo Gol was informed by zat that “Christian Atsu was taken from the wreckage with injuries.”
Taner Savut, our sporting director, is regrettably still buried in the debris.
Hatay was significantly impacted. We’re nearing the conclusion of the most hazardous period, he remarked.
After spending a season with the Saudi Arabian team Al-Raed after leaving Newcastle in 2021, Atsu, 31, joined Hatayspor in September 2022.
In the last seconds of Hatayspor’s Super Lig match against Kasimpasa on Sunday, the Ghanaian winger scored the game-winning goal.
The former president of Ghana, John Mahama, who had requested prayers, tweeted: “This is incredible. God is to be praised for miracles, and we wish Atsu a speedy recovery.
Also on Twitter was the Ghana Football Association (GFA) “The good news is that Atsu was safely evacuated from the wreckage of the fallen building and is now receiving medical attention. Let’s keep praying for Christian.”
“Surviving 26 hours under the stack of rubble after such a horrific earthquake can only be by grace,” wrote sports journalist Jerome Otchere.

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