MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday said no Filipino has been reported dead in the earthquakes that hit Papua New Guinea.
The agency also expressed its sympathies to Papua New Guinea officials and residents after more fatalities were reported when a powerful aftershock hit its mountainous southern part.
“We express our condolences to the government and people of Papua New Guinea and pray that last night’s aftershock would be the last,” Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
The Embassy in Port Moresby said no Filipino was reported among the more than 100 fatalities in the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck 9 days ago and the 6.8-magnitude aftershock recorded early Wednesday.
The Embassy will continue to monitor the situation and will coordinate with local authorities and the Filipino community to ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for, said Ambassador Bienvenido Tejano.
Cayetano expressed solidarity as extended by President Rodrigo Duterte in the aftermath of the February earthquake that struck the country’s Southern Highland Province.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol personally conveyed the President's condolences to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, according to the DFA.
The private sector delegation with Piñol pledged to donate 1,000 bags of rice and a 40-foot container of canned goods for the earthquake victims, said Tejano.
There are about 36,000 Filipinos living in Papua New Guinea and around 300 in the neighboring Solomon Islands.
The International Red Cross on Thursday said its initial assessment showed that as many as 143,000 people could have been affected by the quakes, with an estimated 500 people injured and 17,000 people displaced from their homes due to the twin tremors.