A massive magnitude-8.1 earthquake has hit off Mexico’s southern coast, toppling houses in Chiapas state, causing at least 32 deaths and setting off a tsunami warning, officials said.
The quake was so strong that it caused buildings to sway violently in Mexico’s capital more than 1,000 kilometres away.
A number of buildings suffered severe damage in parts of southern Mexico. Some of the worst initial reports came from the town of Juchitan in Oaxaca state, where sections of the town hall, a hotel, a bar and other buildings were reduced to rubble.
State Governor Alejandro Murat said 23 deaths were registered in Oaxaca, with 17 of them in Juchitan.
A spokesman for emergency services said seven people were also confirmed dead in the neighbouring state of Chiapas. Earlier, the Governor of Tabasco, Arturo Nunez, said two children had died in his state.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 11:49pm on Thursday local time and its epicentre was 165 kilometres west of Tapachula in Chiapas, not far from Guatemala. It had a depth of 69.7 kilometres.
Residents fled buildings, many in their pyjamas, and gathered in frightened groups in the street. Some neighbourhoods remained in darkness after electricity was knocked out.