The unexpected seismic hazard

Public places such as airports are often designed to withstand strong earthquakes particularly in modern cities that are prone to earthquakes. When the ground shakes people have to be careful from objects falling off walls … or eagles falling from the roof!


The giant eagle has fallen from the roof of Wellington airport after an earthquake shake

Two large eagles each having a wingspan of 15 meters and weighing 2 tonnes were suspended from the roof of Wellington Airport to promote the Hobbit trilogy. Clearly these birds cannot fly – one of the eagles fell down as a result of the shaking from a 6.2-magnitude earthquake last month. Thankfully no one was injured when it came down.

Read the full story here.

Matthew Agius is a recent PhD graduate from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland and is now doing research at the University of Southampton (National Oceanography Centre). His research focuses on the dynamics of the lithosphere beneath Tibet, the Central Mediterranean, and the Pacific Ocean. Matthew’s role as a young scientist representative is to promote the efforts done by young researchers and to engage in discussions that concern seismology students. You can reach Matthew via e-mail at

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