"Some people were running... other people were just in shock, said Bill Culver, one of the people who raced to downtown Paso Robles to help victims trapped in the rubble following the deadly earthquake.
"It was horrendous," said Culver. "It was a loud crashing noise, when the earthquake was happening the ground was floating, you felt like you were on a waterbed trying to stand-up."
The historic town of Paso Robles suffered the most damage, when an old brick building that housed a jewelry store and a dress shop collapsed.
Two victims were crushed to death outside the dress shop.
Rescue crews labored to find more victims as more than 50 large aftershocks, as strong as 3.0 magnitude, continued to rattle nerves.
Bill Eellsworth of the United States Geological Service says people, "Should be prepared for some some shakes, hopefully nothing larger than magnitude of 3 or 4."
Scientists say the quake's epicenter was in a relatively unpopulated area, near the town of Cambria, about 200 miles south of San Francisco on a previously unknown fault line.
Geologists say its extremely fortunate that the large quake did not strike near a major metropolitan area.