A strong earthquake measuring 5.8 has shaken Greece's largest island Crete, killing one person and injuring several others.

The tremor sent people fleeing out of homes, schools and public buildings across the island.

Damage was reported to many old buildings close to the epicentre in eastern Crete.

The Greek infrastructure ministry said it had sent a group of civil engineers to assess the structural damage and assist in relief efforts.

A man died when the dome of a small chapel in the town of Arkalochori, some 30km outside Crete's main city Heraklion, caved in during renovation works, a police official said.

The church was largely reduced to rubble.

Civil protection authorities said nine people were injured in the quake, which damaged mainly old, unοccupied buildings in the wider Arkalochori region.

Nevertheless many people in Heraklion rushed outdoors.

Schoolchildren were told to leave their classrooms, gathering in yards and town squares.

Supermarket shelves were toppled or emptied by the tremor.

Schools in the Heraklion region were closed for the day.

A civil protection official said hotel rooms would be made available for people needing to stay outside their homes overnight, and 2,500 tents would also be put up.

The aftermath of the earthquake in the town of Arkalochori

The Athens Geodynamic Institute put the quake's magnitude at 5.8 and said it was centred at a depth of 10km, with an epicentre 23km northwest of Arvi in southeastern Crete.

Earlier, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) had measured the earthquake at a magnitude of 6.5, while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.0.

One of the houses damaged by the quake in Arkalochori,

Greece is located on a number of fault lines, and is sporadically hit by earthquakes.

The last deadly quake in the country occurred on 3 March in the central town of Elassona, killing one person, injuring 10 and causing major damage.

On 39 October 2020 a magnitude 7.0 quake hit in the Aegean Sea between the Greek island of Samos and the city of Izmir in western Turkey.

Most of the damage was in Turkey where 114 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured.

In Greece, two teenagers were reported dead on Samos.