A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti early Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake struck 12 km (7 miles) from the town of Saint-Louis du Sud, at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said.
The Associated Press reported that at least 227 people have died, and hundreds are missing or injured.
The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said there was a tsunami warning after the quake.
According to the AP, people in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor, and many of them rushed out into the streets in fear.
St. Mary's Parish in Hales Corner has been working to send relief efforts to Haiti for the last 20 years. They helped in building a school, clinic, and sister church on the island that now lies in amongst the rubble of destruction.
Mary Lang, a church member, has traveled to Haiti several times and is heartbroken watching the news unfold.
"St. Mary's has slowly and steadily been helping the community build a community center which is now flattened. It was a solid concrete building that they were using as a rectory and as housing but now that's gone," said Lang.
With heavy hearts, members of the congregation gathered to say prayers and brainstorm relief efforts.
"We will rise to the occasion to help them yet again," said Pam Lownik, a member at St. Mary's Parish
The AP reported that prime minister Ariel Henry said he was sending aid to towns damaged by the quake and hospitals overwhelmed with casualties.
Henry declared a one-month state of emergency for the whole country.
He added that he would not ask for international help until he knew the extent of the damages.