Government spokesman Eddy Jackson Alexis said that a disaster response task force had been set up. The quake struck at 8:10 pm local time at a shallow depth of 11.7 kilometres.
The tremor was also felt in the capital Port-de-Prince. A massive in 2010 earthquake left at least 200,000 people dead and 300,000 more wounded in Haiti.
President Jovenel Moise took to Twitter to urge Haitians to “remain calm,” and said local and regional authorities were assisting those in need.
At least 11 people have died in wake of the earthquake, the secretary of state for communication, Eddy Jackson Alexis, told the Haitian Le Nouvelliste newspaper. In addition, an auditorium has reportedly collapsed in the northern part of the country, while a local police station has also been damaged, forcing police to release detainees from custody as a precaution.
The Rezonodwez news service has reported that several homes have collapsed in Port-de-Paix and that the situation has been made worse by driving rain. It also reports that, in outlying areas, the entire side of a church has collapsed and major damage has also been reported to schools, and to at least one hotel.
A number of persons panicked and threw themselves from the balconies of their houses and several among them are dead, with quite a few seriously injured, local media reports. Dozens of injured people were brought to the Hospital of the Immaculate Conception, where the services have been overwhelmed.
President Jovenel Moïse urged the people to remain calm noting that “risk management system and the regional civil Protection directorates” have been activated to help the affected area.