Officials said 12 others were missing and 230 were injured. The 6.8 magnitude shaking collapsed a bridge and a gold mine, and damaged several old Buddhist pagodas.
Hundreds of other buildings were also wrecked by the temblor, which sent terrified residents running from their homes in the country’s second-largest city of Mandalay and surrounding communities.
Several strong aftershocks jolted the region after the initial quake struck at 7:42 a.m. local time.
Residents said that while earthquakes are common in the region, Sunday’s was the most powerful they had ever felt in their lives.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck about 72 miles north of Mandalay at the relatively shallow depth of only six miles.
Shaking was felt as far away as Bangkok in neighboring Thailand.
In March 2011, at least 75 people died when another powerful temblor hit Myanmar near the borders with Laos and Thailand.