Celebrations all around the world are in order. With the clocks striking 12 in different parts of the world, people celebrate the commencing of a new year.
Blaze Struck Sydney kick started a global wave of New Year celebrations with a huge fireworks display for billions around the world. Australia’s largest city usually puts on a beautiful display but this year’s celebrations have been overshadowed by the never ending fires surrounding the largest cities.
Toxic smoke haze has shrouded Sydney for weeks and a petition to cancel the event out of respect for fire victims attracted more than 280,000 signatures.
Fireworks displays were scrapped in Australia’s capital, Canberra, and Sydney’s western suburbs due to elevated fire danger and extreme weather conditions but fire authorities said it was safe to go ahead over the water.
More than 100,000 fireworks were scheduled to light up the skyline for 12 minutes to about one million spectators crowding foreshores and parks.
Critics wanted Sydney to use the $6.5 million ($4.5 million) spent on the display to fight bush-fires ringing the city, but officials say the event is worth 130 million Australian dollars to the economy and cancelling it would not help those impacted by the fires.
Locals were warned to take care as strong winds gusted in the harbour, forcing the cancellation of a water blasting boat display a few hours before the celebrations were going to be held.