An earthquake that measured 5.0 on the richter scale was picked up on Jersey's seismograph.
The centre of the earthquake was south of the islands, close to La Rochelle which is on the western coast of France in the port of Biscay and had a depth of 15km.
There are reports that there was a shake that lasted between three and five seconds.
La Rochelle has a population of just over 75,000. There are no reports of any significant damage so far.
The Central French Seismic Office said it was the strongest quake in mainland France since April 2014.
In Aytré, a nearby town, according to the mayor, the town hall clock, which has not worked for 20 years, started to run.