Angels and Earthquakes

On the newer fiberglass statues (#5-#8) Moroni and the trumpet are 2 separate pieces. This has led to some problems when earthquakes have struck.

During the tenure of the first temple President of the Santiago Chile Temple (Eugene F. Olsen 1983-1985) an 8.5 earthquake shook loose some plaster on the interior walls of the temple and tossed the trumpet into a flower bed below. The statue was reattached using a firetruck ladder. On 27 February 2010, an earthquake again pulled the trumpet out of the hand of the angel Moroni statue, most likely a different statue due to the need to occasionally refurbish the gold leaf on the statues. The temple itself was left unharmed, and the trumpet was replaced on March 10 of the same year.

The Apia Samoa Temple lost the trumpet from its Moroni during an earthquake on 29 September 2009. No additional damage was done to the recently rebuilt temple.

Bolt through the hand -
Bolt through the hand –

Additionally the Tokyo Japan Temple lost its trumpet during an earthquake in 2005. Due to these incidents, newer Angel Moroni statues have the trumpet bolted to the right hand through the palm.

In the 2011 Japan earthquake, the Tokyo Temple Moroni rotated 45 degrees counter clockwise. During the 15 October 2013 earthquake in the Philippines, the Cebu City Temple Angel Moroni statue turned 90 degrees as well. Both temples have since had the statue returned to its original placement.


Rick Satterfield “Articles: Interesting Facts”
Geoff B “Letter from Santiago, Chile Temple President”, 1 March 2010
“Mormon Church Updates Status of LDS Missionaries in Japan” 11 March 2011.
“Temple Opens Day after Earthquake”, 16 October 2013.

Santiago Moroni

Placed: ~1983
Faces: South by East

Apia Moroni

Placed: May 1983
25 January 2005
Faces: East by North

Tokyo Moroni

Placed: 10 December 2004
Faces: North East

Cebu City Moroni

Placed: 9 November 2009
Faces: East North East