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Monday, March 2, 2009

Singapore's Merlion tourism icon struck by lightning

Last night my ex was laughing over this news when we're chatting on msn. This morning got this e-mail.

Singapore's Merlion stone sculpture, popular with tourists, has been temporarily closed for repairs after being struck by lightning, the Singapore Tourism Board said Sunday.

The lightning bolt struck the 36-year old sculpture -- a lion's head with a mermaid's tail -- at the mouth of the Singapore River on the southern waterfront during a Saturday afternoon thunderstorm.

A small section of the mane on the left side of the lion head and its right ear were chipped off as a result, while the wave form at its sculpture's base also suffered a crack.

The lightning strike scattered debris and sent about 20 to 30 people, including tourists, who were in the area, running for cover, the Straits Times newspaper reported. A local television news channel said orange sparks flew and a loud explosion was heard at the time.

But the agency's statement said no one was hurt in the incident.

It said it "has engaged contractors to investigate the cause of the incident and carry out immediate assessment of the structure and repairs."

The Merlion, although an icon created by the tourism agency, has some elements of myths related to Singapore's ancient history.

The name Singapore comes from "Singapura," a mixture of Malay and Sanskrit, which means "Lion City." It was given that name apparently because a Hindu prince in ancient times had spotted a lion-like creature when he landed on the island.

Singapore faced a spate of fierce thunderstorms over the weekend.

The lightning strike on the Merlion is being seen as an ill omen by some in the Internet community. One blog wayangparty said, "Just when you think things cannot get worse, our tourist icon -- the Merlion -- was struck by lightning!"

"In ancient China, natural disasters are usually a harbinger of a change in the "mandate of heaven," it noted.

Originally from breitbart


TOLANIC.com said...

pity to merlion..no pictures?

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