A very powerful earthquake has struck off the coast of Mexico, shaking buildings in the capital and sparking tsunami warnings.
The USGS said a magnitude 8 quake struck 123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a depth of 33 km (21 miles).
Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
“Tsunami waves reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico,” it said, with lower waves in other countries.
Civil protection officials were checking for damage in Chiapas, but the quake was so powerful that frightened residents in Mexico City more than 650 miles away fled apartment buildings, often in their pajamas, and gathered in groups in the street.
Around midnight buildings swayed strongly for more than minute, loosening light fixtures from ceilings. Helicopters crisscrossed the sky above Mexico City with spotlights. Some neighborhoods kept electricity while others remained in darkness.
More updates to follow.
‘It felt horrible’
In one central neighbourhood, dozens of people stood outside after the quake, some wrapped in blankets against the cool night air. Children were crying.
Liliana Villa, 35, was in her apartment when the earthquake struck and she fled to the street in her pyjamas.
“It felt horrible, and I thought, ‘this is going to fall’.”
Videos show moment quake struck
Reports of hotel guests trapped
In Oaxaca, there are reports on social media of guests being trapped in a hotel.
Pictures emerge of damage
‘I nearly fell over’
Residents in Mexico City are describing the moment when the quake struck.
Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City, said:
“I had never been anywhere where the earth moved so much. At first I laughed, but when the lights went out I didn’t know what to do. I nearly fell over.”
Strongest quake since 1985
Mexico’s civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country since a devastating 1985 tremor that toppled buildings and killed thousands.
Big aftershock hits Mexico
A 5,7 magnitude earthquake has hit near the coast of Oaxaca in Mexico.
Guatemala also hit by quake
The earthquake also rattled large parts of Guatemala. Residents in the city of Quetzaltenango say…