A strong earthquake shook much of eastern Mexico on Tuesday, but there were no reports of damage or injury.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.3 quake was centred in the gulf-coast state of Veracruz, about 418 kilometres east-southeast of Mexico City. The epicentre was 95 kilometres below the surface.

"These types of earthquakes are short and very fast," National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network, adding that the quake was deep. "Thanks to that, it basically didn't affect any construction."

The 5:46 a.m. (local time) quake was felt strongly in the Gulf of Mexico port city of Veracruz, where frightened people ran into the streets, and hotels in the tourist zone were evacuated. It rocked buildings at least as far away as Mexico City.

The state of Veracruz is home to a major nuclear power plant, Laguna Verde, and some of Mexico's key petroleum facilities. State civil protection officials said preliminary checks found no damage to any of those installations.