A 3.4-magnitude tremor struck near downtown L.A. just after midnight local time, waking local residents and setting off car and building alarms across the city.
Several L.A.-based stars took to Twitter.com to tell followers about the drama, with Michael Jackson's sister La Toya revealing the disaster hit while she was chatting with her pal Brenda, Lionel Richie's first wife.
She writes, "We just had the worst felt earthquake ever! I'm on the phone with Brenda Richie & screaming! I'm so nervous..."
Twilight actress Rachelle Lefevre told how she rushed to rescue her dog, tweeting, "Earthquake! Just realized I would crawl through rubble to get to my dog if I had to! Man did I run to grab him!!!" while Jason Alexander adds, "Well, that little rumbler shook the house here in LA."
Osbourne asked, "Was there just another earthquake in LA or am I crazy?", and Cougar Town star Philipps mused, "Thought someone was breaking in maybe, then saw the light fixtures moving and that's how my husband and I knew it was an earthquake."
British rocker Dougie Poynter, who is in California ahead of his group McFly's first U.S. gig on Friday, wasn't fazed by the shake-up, tweeting, "If we don't die tonight we play the Roxy tomorrow at 8pm," while his bandmate Tom Fletcher added, "Screw death, I'll still play even if we die. In fact I'd play even better just to p**s the earthquake off."