But the toll was expected to rise, with rescue efforts hampered by severed power supplies and telecommunication links.
The US Geological Survey said the quake of magnitude 6.8 was 57 km deep and struck 29km west of Imphal, the capital of the Indian state of Manipur bordering Myanmar, the quake hit at 4:35 am (23:05 GMT Sunday).
The quake struck before dawn while many residents were asleep, and roofs and staircases of some buildings collapsed in the city of about 270,000 people.
“Five people are confirmed dead and 33 have been injured,” Anurag Gupta of the National Disaster Management Authority told AFP.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said buildings had collapsed near the epicentre and the electricity supply had been cut across the area.
Many hospitals are being inundated with injured and emergency workers are arriving on mass to assist.