One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico struck off the country’s southern coast, toppling hundreds of buildings and sending panicked people fleeing into the streets in the middle of the night. At least 60 people were reported dead. The quake that hit minutes before midnight Thursday was strong enough to cause buildings to sway violently in the capital city more than 650 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.

As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas ran out of their homes and gathered in frightened groups. Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, the state nearest the epicenter, said his house “moved like chewing gum.” The furious shaking created a second national emergency for Mexican agencies already bracing for Hurricane Katia on the other side of the country. READ MORE