The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says no New Zealanders have sought consular assistance in Mexico following an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

Multiple Kiwis and former New Zealand residents have written to the Herald following the quake, which struck the southern coast of Mexico, in Chiapas state, around midnight local time.

Homes have been devastated and the death toll stands at five, including a child and a baby.

In Mexico City, Kiwi Campbell Wright said the quake had been unnerving and he was having trouble sleeping despite it being the early hours of the morning.

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Others described the quake as strong and steady, and "frightening".

It's believed to be bigger than a 1985 Mexico City quake that killed thousands.

Earthquake damage in Chiapas Mexico 07 September 2017 picture suppleid via twitter credit: @AlertaChiapas
Earthquake damage in Chiapas Mexico 07 September 2017 picture suppleid via twitter credit: @AlertaChiapas

On Friday evening, despite being more than 1000km away from the quake's epicentre, buildings swayed in Mexico City and residents were reported to have run out in the streets for cover.

Aubrey Dyer told the Herald she was staying at the Holiday Inn near the capital's airport, and had to run to a door frame for cover.

"The earthquake hit just as I was going to sleep. It felt very strong but it was possible to walk across the room and get into a doorway without any real problems," she said.

"The hotel alarms went off and it was evacuated after the shaking stopped while they checked for damage.

"It was certainly a very frightening experience but the shaking, was strong and steady as opposed to violent and sharp.

"I will be . . . ready to get out of the building again very quickly if necessary."

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MFAT said 103 Kiwis were registered as travelling through Mexico, but none had sought consular assistance on Friday evening.

Kiwis in Mexico were encouraged to register themselves at safetravel.govt.nz.