Damage reported: A map showing the earthquake location in Haiti (ABC News)
Haiti's ambassador to the US says a "catastrophe of major proportions" is unfolding in his country this morning after a major 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit near the capital Port-au-Prince.
The epicentre of the quake, which was initially reported off the coast, was located inland, 10km west of Carrefour, close to the capital, and was only 30km deep.
An AFP correspondent said the ground shook for more than a minute.
An AFP correspondent in Petionville said one three-storey building was toppled, and a tractor was already at the scene trying to dig out victims as people fled onto the streets in panic. The up-scale area is home to many foreign diplomats and members of a major United Nations mission to the country.
"Just experienced a MAJOR earthquake here in Port au Prince - walls were falling down. - we are ALL fine - pray for those in the slums," Twitter user Troy Livesay wrote this morning.
Other reports say at least one hospital has collapsed.
The quake was followed by at least two weaker aftershocks.
A major earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher is capable of causing widespread and heavy damage. There was no immediate report of damage or casualties.
A tsunami watch is in effect for Haiti, Cuba, The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
"A destructive widespread tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
"However, there is the possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a 100 kilometres from the earthquake epicentre."
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
warmsound: For anybody who's interested in knowing about any organizations who will be providing disaster relief:
http://twitter.com/nonprofitorgs <-- they're posting new information as they're getting it about the earthquake, and they'll have links to any organizations that will be involved in providing aid. Their updates have been entirely devoted to Haiti since the news broke.
davincicomplex: If anyone wants to donate to Partners in Health, which runs clinics in Haiti, mostly dealing with HIV+ patients and Tuberculosis, but ultimately providing all kinds of services to the rural poor, here is their website: http://www.pih.org/youcando/donate.html
abiding: RT @wyclef Please text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to YELE HAITI.Your money will help with relief efforts. They need our help..please help if you can about 1 hour ago from web
RT @marvinady http://twitpic.com/xuwfz - PHOTO: Another car crushed in Haiti 5 minutes ago from web
#Pray4Haiti #helphaiti RT @xanpearson Another picture out of Haiti RT: @mparent77772 Haiti earthquake pic http://bit.ly/5j4mfH 5 minutes ago from web
#Pray4Haiti RT @missturman: Images from #haiti Twitpic / bluecorp http://ow.ly/VPPv #helphaiti 6 minutes ago from web
Please send all your positive thoughts, prayers, etc to all of those in Haiti and around the world with loves ones there. Greatly appreciated. :)