Mexico City airport was temporarily shut as a massive earthquake shook the country killing at least 220 people.

British travellers are being urged to follow the advice of local authorities after the 7.1 magnitude quake struck in Puebla state. about 75 miles from the capital.

The tremor reportedly toppled dozens of buildings in Mexico City and caused major damage in neighbouring states.

The prolonged tremor hit at 1.14pm local time and sent thousands of residents into the streets.

It came while many people took part in an earthquake drill exactly 32 years after a quake killed up to 10,000 people in Mexico City.

The country is prone to earthquakes and earlier this month an 8.1 magnitude tremor in the south left at least 90 dead.

Colin Stewart, chairman of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), said: “Our hearts go out to the victims of the earthquake. We are in constant contact with our LATA members who have passengers in Mexico and are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with their local ground handlers to ensure the welfare of all visitors.

“It is worth recognising that the top travel destinations in Mexico including Cancun, Yucatan, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, are completely unaffected by the earthquake and business continues as usual.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office reported that damage has been “severe” from yesterday’s earthquake.

“Mexico City airport was closed temporarily, but has now reopened,” the FCO said in an updated travel advisory.

“Please contact your airline in the first instance if you are due to fly out on 19 or 20 September.

“Local authorities are opening up shelters for those most badly affected.

“If you are in the area, you should follow the advice of the local authorities.

“The British Embassy in Mexico City remains closed and phone lines are intermittent due to structural damage.

“If you require emergency assistance, please call +44 (0)20 7008 1500.”