A 15 year-old boy has been killed after an earthquake struck Croatia.

The European Seismological Agency (EMSC) said the earthquake measured 5.3 magnitude and struck a wide area north of the capital, Zagreb, at 6.23am local time.

The epicentre was 7km north of Zagreb at a depth of 10km.

"We got a call about a collapsed building... Teams went to the spot and found a seriously injured child who did not show signs of life," the head of Zagreb's emergency unit told state-run HINA news agency, adding the boy's age was 15. 

There was widespread damage to buildings, while streets were littered with concrete slabs and chimneys.

The earthquake struck amid a partial lockdown of the capital because of the spread of the coronavirus.

People were told to avoid public areas, such as parks and public squares, but had no choice as they ran out of their apartments.

Up to five people keeping distance are allowed to be together.

Zagreb's famous cathedral was also damaged, with the top of one of its two spires collapsing. The cathedral was rebuilt after it toppled in the 1880 earthquake.

Power was cut as people ran out of their homes. Several fires were also reported.

At least two other tremors were recorded later.