Sympathies to Christian Atsu, others

On Monday, a 7.8- magnitude earthquake hit Turkiye and Syria, which has so far killed over 4,000 and injured many thou­sands.

While Ghana had joined the rest of the world to express condolences and sympathies to Turkiye and Syria, the news tripped in that a citizen of the country, Christian Atsu, who plays for Hatayspor, was missing fol­lowing the pre-dawn disaster.

This now made the whole nation realise that we were affected by the earthquake more than we thought.

Fortunately, another news report came in that the 31-year-old footballer had been pulled alive from the rubble following thousands of buildings brought down by the huge earthquake and its after-shocks.

It is heart-warming that like others rescued from the rub­ble, Atsu is receiving treat­ment at a hospital in Turkiye.

We wish Atsu speedy re­covery as we pray that he and the other injured people would be given the best of care.

It is our prayer that the young man and the other injured victims would re­gain their strength and go back to their livelihoods.

Specifically, we pray that Atsu would regain his strength and return home to play football, his chosen career, even better than before.

It is our hope that his injury would not hinder his career advancement.

As we continue to pray for Atsu, we wish to extend condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to the injured and their families too.

We appeal to these fam­ilies to be strong in their moments of grief.

We also wish to appeal to those whose loved ones are still missing to take heart and pray that they would be found alive.

After all, it is said that 25 medical articles report multiple rescues that oc­curred after two days (48 hours) and media reports describe rescues occurring beyond Day 2 in 18 of 34 earthquakes, with the longest reliably reported survival being 14 days after impact followed by a rescue 13 days after the disaster.

Besides, a BBC article published online on May 10, 2013 titled ‘How long can survivors last under rubble?’ has it that in 1995, Park Seung Hyun was pulled from the wreckage of a collapsed supermarket in Seoul, South Korea, 16 days after the incident.

The same article states that in one extraordinary case in December 2005, a 40-year-old woman was found buried in what had been her kitchen in Pakistan-administered Kashmir more than two months after an earth­quake hit the region.

According to the article, doctors said it was a mir­acle that Naqsha Bibi had survived so long in a space so small that she could not move.

Let us all pray for a miracle like this for the missing loved ones, hoping the death toll would not arise.

Thus, we pray that God Himself would give the rescuers special strength to prosecute their unique role.

We also appeal to the whole global community to give Turkiye and Syria the needed assistance, technical, finan­cial and otherwise, such as the US’s sending of search-and-rescue teams to support Turkey’s efforts.

We pray that Turkiye and Syria would receive the ap­propriate assistance such as Japanese knowhow to build earthquake-resistant struc­tures so that should there occur again any such incident in the earthquake-ravaged countries, the devastation would not be as we have seen it now.

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