Lightning struck the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's most iconic monument, and broke a finger off its right hand, the Rio archdiocese, which cares for the sculpture, told Efe.

An Efe photo caught the exact moment Thursday night when the meteorological phenomenon struck the right hand of Christ the Redeemer in the city known as the "Cidade Maravilhosa."

According to the archdiocese, it also affected an informative plaque, but in both cases the damage was "superficial."

Last year another lightning bolt hit the same hand of Christ, which has an outer layer of soapstone, after which the archdiocese planned to remodel the sculpture. That project will get underway next Tuesday, according to the same source.

Brazil, where lightning flashes occur an average of 5 million times a year, is one of the countries most prone to such electrical discharges, according to the National Space Research Institute. 

The 125-foot Christ the Redeemer statue sits atop a steep mountain and is often hit by strikes.

The statue underwent a $4 million renovation in 2010 to repair badly eroded parts of its face and hands.

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