Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano on Monday expressed "closeness and solidarity" over the "dramatic" recent earthquake and aftershocks in Papua New Guinea that had killed dozens of people.
"I wish to express my personal and the Italian people’s closeness and solidarity for the earthquake that has hit Papua New Guinea and that unfortunately continues to produce aftershocks," Alfano stated.
"The casualty toll that is progressively emerging is dramatic. I express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wish a prompt and full recovery to those injured,” Alfano added.
Aid workers were on Tuesday struggling to reach Papua New Guinea's mountainous Southern Highland area as aftershocks rattled the area, more than a week after a powerful 7.5 magnitude temblor killed dozens of people there.
The quake death toll had risen to 75, local media reported on Tuesday. Government officials said previously that 55 people had been killed.
At least 500 people were injured in the quake and 17,000 left homeless, the Red Cross said on Monday.