The earthquake struck at around 10.56 am about 50 kilometres north of Bordeaux.
It could be felt all the way from Bordeaux to the city of Poitiers in western France, according to France's National Seismic Monitoring Network (RéNass).
The epicentre of the earthquake was about 5 km from Montendre in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France.
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The tremors were felt in several departments of the south west, such as the Gironde, Charente and Charente-Maritime departments.
The chimneys of two empty apartments collapsed in the town of Barbezieux, according to local newspaper Sud Ouest which could have been down to the earthquake.
“I felt a slight swaying, my sofa went from right to left, it rocked like I was on a boat,” François Aliane, 58, a resident of Gençay (Vienne), near Poitiers told the French press.
Another person living in the area tweeted: “4.9 earthquake near Bordeaux. First time for me there's such a big one here. I'm fine but I heard people sitting on higher floors did feel a lot of vibrations” (see tweet below).
4.9 earthquake near Bordeaux. First time for me there's such a big one here. I'm fine but I heard people sitting on higher floors did feel a lot of vibrations
— Gustave Monce (@gus33000) March 20, 2019
“No major damage has been caused, the local services are keeping an eye on the situation,” said the local authorities in the Dordogne department in south west France.
The earthquake near Bordeaux followed another earthquake in the port city of Brest in Brittany at 12.20 am on Tuesday morning, which measured 3.7 on the Richter scale.
Did you feel the earth move in south western France? Tweet us @TheLocalFrance