The 7.0 magnitude quake, which hit 11 miles northeast of Acapulco in Guerrero state, shook the hillsides around the city, downing trees and pitching large boulders onto roads.
State governor Hector Astudillo told local television that a man was killed by a falling post. He and other authorities had earlier said there were no reports of major damage from the quake, which caused power outages in several states.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the temblor had not caused major damages in Guerrero, the neighboring region of Oaxaca, Mexico City and elsewhere.
Acapulco is roughly 230 miles (375 km) from Mexico City.
In the central Roma Sur neighborhood of Mexico City, lights went off and scared residents rushed out, some wearing little more than pajamas, a Reuters witness said. Residents huddled together in the rain, holding young children or pets.