A magnitude-5.2 earthquake, centered 11 miles east southeast of Willow Creek, jolted the North Coast at 8:03 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Unites States Geological Survey termed it a level VI temblor with a strong shake and light damage.
A magnitude-2.0 aftershock hit five minutes later, 16 miles to the east of Willow Creek.
"It was sort of like a sonic boom," said Brenda Simmons of SkyCrest Lake resort in Burnt Ranch. "It was a very loud noise before the house started shaking. It was pretty scary, the biggest thing I've ever felt here. (It) lasted 10 seconds max. I didn't feel the aftershock."
"We felt it good," said Terri Castner of Willow Creek. "It was a short one with a heavy shake. We've got a free-floating ceiling fan and it was rocking and rolling."