Central area of Mexico felt the effects of a 7.6earthquake with an epicenter 83 miles of east of thecoastal city of Acapulco.
The initial quake in Guerrero state was followedby a less powerful, magnitude-5.1 aftershock thatalso was felt in the capital.
Frightened workers and residents poured into thestreets of the capital just minutes after noonlocal time (18:02 GMT). Telephone service was downin the city and throughout the area where thequake was felt.
"I have problems with pressure, I felt I was goingto faint," said Rosa Maria Lopez Velazquez, 62,outside a mall in Mexico City.
The quake was felt strongly in southern Guerrerostate, where the epicenter was located about 15miles (25 kilometers) from the city of Ometepec.Neighboring Oaxaca state also shook heavily,including two aftershocks.
"It was very strong, but we didn't see anythingfall," said Irma Ortiz, who runs a guesthouse inOaxaca. She said their telephones are down, andthat the quake shook them side-to-side.
The U.S. Geological Survey set the intensity ofthe first quake at 7.6 and said the epicenter was11 miles underground. The survey set theaftershock at 5.1.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard's Twitter accountsaid the water system and other "strategicservices" were not experiencing problems.
Groups of women hugged and cried at Mexico City'sAngel of Independence monument, where hundreds ofpeople evacuated from office buildings said theynever had felt such a strong earthquake. Otherstyped ferociously on their Blackberries.
Samantha Rodriguez, a 37-year old environmentalconsultant, was evacuated from the 11th floor onthe Angel Tower office building.
"I thought it was going to pass rapidly but thewalls began to thunder and we decided to get out,"she said.
Mexico City's airport was closed for a short timebut there was no damage to runways and operationswere returning to normal.
In Oaxaca, Sylvia Valencia was teaching Spanish tofive adult students at the Vinigulaza languageschool when the earthquake hit.
"Some of us sat down, others ran out," she said."It was hard, it was strong and it was long."
After the shaking stopped, however, she said theyfound no damage, not in their own classrooms, noroutside in the historical center of the city, sothey went back to class.
Celia Galicia, who works at the U.S. consularoffice in Oaxaca, had just flown in from MexicoCity when it hit.
She said there was panic in the airport, and adash for the doors. But she said that she saw nodamage at the airport and no one was hurt. Shesays one building in downtown Oaxaca appears to bedamaged and has been evacuated.
She added that they've had two strong aftershocks,and that in downtown Oaxaca most people are out onthe street at this point.
"It started shaking badly," she said.