Lightning Strikes Christ Statue in Rio, Chips Thumb

Image: Lightning strikes next to the statue Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Lightning that strikes the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, on Jan. 16. ANTONIO LACERDA / EPA

A violent lightning and rain storm has swept across Rio de Janeiro, flooding streets and knocking out power in some neighborhoods.

The thumb on the right hand of the Christ the Redeemer statue was hit and chipped by a lightning strike. This is not the first time the statue atop Corcovado mountain has been struck, earlier this year the middle finger on the right hand was damaged in a storm. The Archdiocese of Rio plans to repair the statue soon.

Image: Lightning bolts strike through the sky near Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
Lightning bolts strike near the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, late on Jan. 16, 2014. Renata Brito / AP

Sirens warning residents of the danger of mudslides sounded in several areas of the city.

Each year across Brazil, hundreds of people die in mudslides, almost all happening in ramshackle slums often precariously built up steep hillsides.

Rio's domestic airport shut down for about an hour during Thursday's storm as did ferries that take commuters from Rio to the neighboring of Niteroi.

The storm passed after 90 minutes, but there was no word on when power would be restored for tens of thousands of residents.

— The Associated Press

Extraordinary Lightning Strike Hits Famous Statue 0:22