09/09/2017 11:30 BST | Updated 09/09/2017 11:30 BST

Mexico Earthquake: Photos Reveal Destruction From Country's Strongest Quake In Decades

At least 61 people have died.

The most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in almost a century has left at least 61 people dead, reduced buildings to rubble, injured hundreds and forced mass evacuations. 

The 8.1 magnitude earthquake - the epicentre of which lay around 40 miles off the country’s southern coast - hit late on Thursday night.

Much of the most serious damage has affected the poverty-stricken town of Juchitan in the region of Oaxaca, with Reuters reporting that the town hall, a hotel, a church, bars and a number of homes have all been seriously damaged.

According to officials, more than 250 people in the region were injured in the quake.   

A huge rescue operation is now underway, with fears that many could still be trapped under collapsed buildings. 

The town’s mayor Gloria Sanchez, called it “the most terrible moment” in the area’s history.  

At least 61 people have been killed in a huge 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico 

Yesterday, scores of people in Juchitan planned to sleep outdoors in parks and in the streets over fears that aftershocks could cause even more destruction. 

A woman named Alma Rosa, who sat in the street by the body of a loved one, told Reuters: “We went to buy a coffin, but there aren’t any because there are so many bodies.”

Mexico’s President Pena Nieto, who flew to Juchitan to oversee rescue efforts, said that the quake was felt by around 50 million of the country’s population of 120 million. 

Not only did the huge quake trigger a minor tsunami in the nearby state of Chiapas - sparking mass evacuations - but airport windows shattered in Mexico City and power outages in the capital affected more than a million people. 

Tremors from the incident were also felt in Guatemala and El Salvador, with alerts triggered as far away as southeast Asia.  

Thursday’s temblor was even stronger than the devastating 1985 earthquake which flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.

The following photos offer a glimpse of destruction caused by Thursday’s earthquake. 

More than 100 buildings in Juchitan have been reduced to rubble by the quake 
President Enrique Pena Nieto addresses residents 
Edgard Garrido / Reuters
Residents - afraid of aftershocks - sleep outside their homes 
Soldiers remove the debris of a house destroyed in the earthquake 
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A home reduced to rubble on the south coast of Mexico 
Residents wait with their pets and belongings outside of a damaged building 
Part of a destroyed wall in Mexico City 
Residents wait outside over fears of aftershocks 
A family stands outside of their destroyed home
A woman talks on the phone near a damaged building