One minute of shaking sent residents of Mexico City fleeing into the streets, but there were no reports of fatalities anywhere in the country.
The shaking damaged approximately 30,000 homes in the southern state of Guerrero and 2,000 in Oaxaca, according to the daily El Universal.
Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre said that near the epicenter, 800 houses were damaged beyond repair.
But only 11 injuries were reported nationwide, according to officials.
The most dramatic images of damage came from the northern Mexico City borough of Azcapotzalco, where a concrete bridge fell on a small and unoccupied minibus.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 12:02 p.m. local time about 200 miles south-southeast of Mexico City. The epicenter was placed at a relatively shallow depth of just 10 miles.
It was the strongest temblor to hit the country since a catastrophic 1985 quake that killed thousands around Mexico City.