The magnitude-5.7 quake broke dishes and shook mirrors when it struck at 8:47 p.m. Thursday, officials said.
It was centered near Greenville, about 25 miles southwest of Susanville in far northeastern California, said Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colo.
There have been several aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.9 that struck early Friday morning.
Slight damage has been reported including objects falling from shelves and dishes rattled or broken, according to a report from the National Weather Service.
Susan Shephard and her husband Alan Shephard, who run the Quail Lodge at Lake Almanor near Greenville very close to the epicenter, said they were watching "The Hunger Games" on TV when the whole building started shaking.
"All of a sudden things started falling off the shelves, mirrors fell off the wall, vases fell down to the floor, everything started crashing," Shephard told the Redding Record-Searchlight. "It felt like the end of our world."
The Susanville Fire Department said it had received no reports of damage, and a Plumas County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said calls were flooding into its office but no reports of damage.
Thousands of people reported feeling the quake, as far away as the San Francisco Bay area and across the borders into Oregon and Nevada, according to the USGS website.
KCRA-TV in Sacramento reported that the Plumas County temblor was felt in downtown Sacramento, about 145 miles south of the epicenter.
People in Yuba and Sutter Counties, south of Plumas, said they felt a rolling quake, according to the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.
"People in the area felt a strong jolt, but it was not enough to generate serious damage, based on early field reports," Abreu said.
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