Lightning strikes Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro's iconic statue, which towers over the Brazilian city, has been hit by lightning with part of one of its fingers breaking off.PT0M40S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-311aq 620 349 January 18, 2014
Rio de Janeiro: Lightning has broken a finger off the right hand of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Father Omar, rector of the shrine that holds the statue, told the Globo radio station that lightning frequently strikes the 30-metre-high statue, a symbol of Rio that overlooks the Brazilian city from the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado mountain.
Its right hand had been damaged sometime ago, but the finger finally broke off in a storm late on Thursday.
Lightning flashes over the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: AFP
"They say lightning does not strike the same spot twice. But with the Christ it does," the priest said.
A lightning rod and other equipment are in place "to protect the image," but they do not always do the trick, he said.
Father Omar noted that people who work at the site are usually warned in advance by city officials about electrical storms so they can ensure the safety of the thousands of visitors at the site on top of Corcovado mountain.
Lightning bolts strike through the sky near Christ the Redeemer. Photo: AP
"I have already endured the situation of being at the Christ at a time of rain and a lot of lightning, and it is scary. But we have a plan to quickly take all visitors away from there," the priest said.
The statue is set to be refurbished next month, so this and other damage is set to be fixed.