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Singapore’s Merlion Closes for Repairs after Lightning Strike

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Merlion at Merlion Park in Singapore has closed to undergo repairs and rectification work. It is expected to re-open in two weeks’ time.

On 28 February 2009, lightning during a heavy downpour caused a piece from the Merlion structure to fall onto the wave form at its base. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB), together with professional engineers and appointed contractors, have since assessed the incident’s impact on the Merlion’s structural integrity and the repair works required.

The Merlion has been assessed to be safe and structurally sound. Immediate repair works will involve re-plastering the affected areas on the Merlion. This will started on Monday (9 March 2009), and is targeted for completion by 21 March 2009.

The wave form at the base of the Merlion will require a longer repair time, to allow the required glass material to be fabricated according to the original specifications. STB is consulting relevant contractors on the expected duration for repairing the wave form. Steps will be taken to ensure that the repair works to the wave form will not affect the aesthetics of the Merlion when it re- opens.

STB has no records of lightning damaging the Merlion since its inauguration on 15 September 1972. Designed and built as a sculpture, the Merlion did not include a lightning conductor. However, STB is now studying the possible lightning protection measures for the Merlion Park to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

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