"Big enough to feel, but certainly didn't get me out of bed," John Varian said.
Varian has lived in the tiny town of Parkfield for most of his life.
This isn't the first time he's been woken up by an earthquake.
"It's not like we feel them every day. But you're not surprised by them," he said.
The reason geologists are so interested in Parkfield is because it sits on the San Andreas Fault.
It's where the North American Plate collides with the Pacific Plate, constantly shifting and causing minor earthquakes like the one on Monday, about once a year.
"It definitely has had a lot of people show up here, lot of media show up here. It is true that this is the most studied spot on Earth for earthquakes. But it's like if you get lemons, make lemonade," Varian said.
Parkfield is anything but a big city.
It's got a population of 18.
But of those 18, most of them felt the quake.
"My kids sleep pretty sound; two of them slept through it, the third one felt it," Varian said.
But people there are no strangers to larger earthquakes as well.
That was the whole reason behind "The Parkfield Experiment," which was started in the '80s by the U.S. Geological Survey and State of California.
Since 1857, magnitude 6 earthquakes have hit the area, on average, every 23 years.
"The one, when I was a small child, I just remember, it seemed like it never stopped shaking, all the aftershocks and everything," Varian said.
But geologists call Monday's 4.5 quake a little surprising because typically, between the bigger earthquakes, Parkfield feels tremors around a magnitude 3.
"I would be probably more concerned about earthquakes if I lived in San Francisco, than I am here. In this rural area, with just a little bit of precaution, you're pretty safe," Varian said.
People reported feeling the quake in Coalinga, as well other places around the Valley.
Luckily, there were no reports of damage or injuries.
Geologists tell KMPH News; typically these smaller earthquakes are caused by relieving stress on the San Andreas Fault.
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