Horrific news just in.

There are thousands feared dead after a huge 7.2 magnitude tremor hit Haiti just moments ago.

The powerful earthquake hit the west of the country, with its epicentre about 8km (5 miles) from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Reporters have been told by officials that there are fatalities, however the exact number is unknown. Many expect the fatality rate to be in the thousands.

Videos shared on social media, show buildings reduced to no more than rubble. Dust clouds haunt the air in the immediate aftermath of the tremor, with terrified locals standing on the streets, unaware of what to do or where to go.

Haiti is still in the recovery process from an earthquake which hit in 2010.

Jerry Chandler, Haiti's director of civil protection, told AFP news agency:

I can confirm that there are deaths, but I don't yet have an exact toll. Lots of homes are destroyed, people are dead and some are at the hospital.

Naomi Verneus, a 34-year-old resident of the capital Port-au-Prince, told the Associated Press news agency:

I woke up and didn't have time to put my shoes on. We lived the 2010 earthquake and all I could do was run. I later remembered my two kids and my mother were still inside. My neighbour went in and told them to get out. We ran to the street.

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed more than 200,000 people and caused catastrophic damage to infastructure and the economy. That earthquake was a seven magnitude quake.

"High casualties are probable and the disaster is likely widespread," according to USGS. "Past events with this alert level have required a national or international level response."

No tsunami warning for the U.S. Atlantic or Gulf coasts was issued after the quake, according to the U.S. Tsunami Warning System.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by this horrific tragedy.