Fireworks lit up the Sydney skyline because the world began to welcome 2020, however celebrations within the Australian metropolis have been mired in controversy as a result of ongoing bushfires ravaging elements of the nation.
There have been doubts as as to if the spectacular show to ring within the new yr would go forward due to the devastation brought on by the flames, which have forced hundreds from their homes in New South Wales.
Greater than 1,000,000 folks nonetheless descended on Sydney Harbour for the normal occasion, having been granted an exemption from a fireworks ban to stop additional wildfires.
The celebrations in Sydney, which is the capital of New South Wales, have been anticipated to generate some £69m for the regional economic system – however many nonetheless referred to as for them to be cancelled.
Responding to critics, town mayor Clover Moore mentioned planning for the fireworks started 15 months in the past and a lot of the price range had already been allotted.
Some one billion folks worldwide have been thought to have watched the Sydney occasion, which got here two hours after a powerful show in Auckland.
Half a tonne of fireworks burst from the Sky Tower above town centre, bringing to an finish a yr that has not been brief on tragedy for the small island nation.
Later there have been spectacular shows within the North Korean capital Pyongyang and Seoul in South Korea, with the latter seeing 1000’s collect within the chilly downtown streets forward of a standard bell-tolling ceremony close to Metropolis Corridor.
Fireworks additionally drew massive crowds in Tokyo, together with on the metropolis’s Disneyland theme park, as locals put together for an thrilling yr that can see them welcome guests from everywhere in the world for the 2020 Olympics this summer time.
Hong Kong opted for a extra modest gentle present, accompanied by a cinematic soundtrack, as town bid farewell to a yr dominated by mass protests against the government.
Authorities deployed 6,000 cops on the streets of the Chinese language-run former British colony, the place the same old fireworks show was cancelled.
Chief Carrie Lam appealed for calm and reconciliation in her New 12 months’s Eve video message, with protesters seen forming human chains urging folks not to surrender the battle for democracy in 2020.
One was seen holding a banner studying: “Always remember. By no means forgive.”