Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has expressed his concerns over the devastating impact of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday.

The minister, who is also the co-founder of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), said an international response was required.

The quake flattened buildings and trapped people under rubble in at least two cities, killing more than a thousand people.

“I sympathise with our neighbouring island Haiti as it reels from the destruction caused by the earthquake,” said Bartlett.

“These climatic events are showing us more and more that vulnerable countries in the Caribbean need to be more prepared to manage and mitigate when then they occur.

“This is why the GTRCMC was created to assist countries in the preparedness and management of disruptions of all kinds so they can not only recover but recover stronger.”

He added: “As part of efforts to provide support, the GTRCMC will be coordinating with regional leaders to meet to discuss the impact of the earthquake and examine the implications for Caribbean tourism, given the negative impact this is having on lives, livelihoods and ultimately tourism.”

Haiti, which was stricken by another powerful earthquake in 2010 which killed more than 220,000 people, is also bracing for the onslaught of tropical storm Grace.