The USGS reported a 5.3 magnitude quake hit around 11:55 Saturday night.
It was centered 16 miles from King City in Monterey County and about 30 miles northwest of Coalinga.
People in Coalinga told Action News they were woken up by the quake.
Some were frightened by the rattles because it brought back memories of another earthquake that hit the city in the early 1980s.
Mirtha Hernandez and her family are still a little nervous after the more than five-point magnitude earthquake shook up their city.
"I kind of laid there for a little bit and I was like something is going on and I could feel the ground move," Hernandez said.
Mirtha was alone in her apartment when the quake hit.
"I was a little scared because it happened at midnight and I was by myself. It was just like a roller coaster. It didn't shake it was more like a wave," Hernandez said.
She was scared because she remembers the 1983 earthquake that damaged parts of her town.
"Everybody slept outside for about a week because everybody was scared to go back in," she said.
But others in the town including her nephew say it was a thrill to feel the rattles.
"It was exhilarating to me," Christian Hernandez said.
People more than an hour away in Fresno also felt the shocks.
Firefighters in the area removed their trucks from covered buildings to protect them in case the station collapsed.
"It could be a huge loss but it would be a huge loss for the public is we were unable to protect our citizens," Dustin Hail of Cal Fire said.
Firefighters Action News talked to say they took part in an earthquake drill last week. On Saturday night they were able to implement that drill in just a few minutes.