Jamaica's Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is coordinating a regional response to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday (Aug. 14) – a devastating event that killed nearly 1,300 people and left at least 2,800 people injured.
Jamaica’s centre, which assists with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions or crises that affect tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods, is co-chaired by Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who expressed his sympathies to the people of Haiti.
"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,” said Bartlett, as reported by the Jamaica Gleaner.
Jamaica’s global resilience centre will coordinate with regional leaders to meet and discuss the impact of the earthquake and examine other implications for Caribbean tourism, the Gleaner reported.
“Just as we coordinated short to midterm mitigation for the volcanic eruption that occurred in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the centre will be coordinating with our regional partners for the way forward,” Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, Professor Lloyd Waller, was quoted as saying.
The earthquake struck the southwestern part of Haiti, about 125 kilometres west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and triggered landslides that hampered rescue efforts, CBC News reported.
The devastation could soon worsen as tropical depression Grace is set to reach Haiti on Monday night, which is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding to the region.