Turkey has been devastated by an earthquake in its southern region ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has expressed condolences to those that lost their lives in two earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, saying the Olympic Movement would support affected communities.

Bach noted that the situation is "tragic" as some of the victims were young athletes.

"It is with great sadness that the IOC has learned of the tragic loss of life and the devastation caused by the earthquake that has struck the south-eastern region of Turkey and Syria," he said in a statement.

"Our hearts go out to all the families of the athletes who died or those who have been impacted while they were taking part in sporting competitions in the affected area.

"The circumstances of this natural disaster are all the more tragic, as there appears to be a number of young athletes among the victims.

"Our sympathies also lie with those who are working tirelessly to assist in these rescue operations.

"The Olympic Movement stands ready to help in whatever way we can, as sport can play an important role in the rebuilding of communities and in helping people normalise their lives."

Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu has suspended all sports activity in Turkey until further notice after earthquakes hit the Kahramanmaraş province in the south of the country this morning and afternoon, killing more than 3,000 people in the country and neighbouring Syria.

According to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 2,316 have been confirmed dead so far as a result of the two earthquakes of 7.8 and 7.7 magnitude.

Another 13,293 have been injured in Turkey.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) extended its sympathies for those affected.

The impact of the earthquake affected northern Syria too, with the nation's Health Ministry and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance reporting 1,297 people have been killed and more than 1,200 injured.

Former Syrian striker Nader Joukhadar - who scored nine international goals in 14 appearances for his national football team - was reported dead, as was his son.

Turkish goalkeeper Ahmet Eyüp Türkaslan, who plays for TFF First League club Yeni Malatyaspor, is still under the rubble.

Former English Premier League footballer and Ghana winger Christian Atsu had been trapped under the rubble, but reports say he has been taken to hospital alive, although his condition is not yet known.

Former Newcastle United attacker Christian Atsu has been uncovered from the rubble alive ©Getty Images
Former Newcastle United attacker Christian Atsu has been uncovered from the rubble alive ©Getty Images

He had been trapped with Hatayspor sporting director Taner Savut, whose status is still unknown.

Just yesterday, Atsu scored a 97th minute winner against Kasımpaşa for Hatayspor in the top division of Turkish football, the Süper Lig.

Three Iranian amputee players and one from Cameroon, who were playing in Turkey, are reported dead too.

The second of the earthquakes was 42 miles north-east of Kahramanmaraş, hitting Malatya.

Tremors could be felt as far away as Egypt and Cyprus.

Erdoğan said it was the worst disaster in Turkey since an earthquake in 1939 killed over 32,000 people.

UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Citadel in Aleppo and Gaziantep Castle have been heavily damaged.

Aleppo was severely affected by the earthquake ©Getty Images
Aleppo was severely affected by the earthquake ©Getty Images

Football players from 1920 Maraşspor could have been staying in a hotel destroyed by an earthquake, according to Haber Global, with a men's volleyball team and girls' under-14 volleyball team believed to be affected too.

Olympic wrestling champion Taha Akgül has pled for help too, citing between 30 and 40 wrestlers are trapped too, as reported by Birgun.

The National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan has confirmed its youth freestyle wrestling team, which has been competing in a tournament in Kahramanmaraş, confirming "all athletes and coaches are safe and healthy".

Athletes are to be transported to Ankara and then Istanbul, before flying back to Tashkent.

UEFA has expressed its condolences. 

"The thoughts of UEFA and the European football community are with the people of Türkiye and Syria, and all those affected by this morning's devastating earthquake," read their tweet.

EuroLeague Basketball said its thoughts were with all affected, while Spanish football club Real Madrid shared its "deepest sympathy and solidarity".