Lightning costs Rio's iconic Christ statue tip of thumb

Lightning flashes over the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of the Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan 16, 2014. The iconic statue of Jesus has lost a thumb tip to lightning, a report said on Friday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Lightning flashes over the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of the Corcovado hill in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan 16, 2014. The iconic statue of Jesus has lost a thumb tip to lightning, a report said on Friday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - The iconic statue of Jesus overlooking Rio de Janeiro, one of the city's most recognisable landmarks, has lost a thumb tip to lightning, a report said on Friday.

Christ The Redeemer, the giant monument and tourist magnet that looms atop nearby Mount Corcovado, was damaged in a huge storm on Thursday night, O Globo newspaper reported on its website.

Standing at 38 metres - pedestal and all - the statue was named in a 2007 global poll as one of seven new wonders of the world.

Site caretaker Father Osmar Raposo said the giant concrete figure that juts from the mountain top some 710 metres above Rio's beaches, would undergo repair next month.

O Globo broadcast helicopter images of the statue on its G1 web portal, showing part of Christ's right thumb missing.

Brazil's national space institute INPE counted more than 40,000 lighting flashes during the three-hour storm which felled dozens of trees and flooded streets.

Winds gusting at 87 kilometres per hour forced one of Rio's airports to close and brought a halt to boat trips across the city's Guanabara Bay.

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