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New Year’s Eve 2017 LIVE: New Year 2018 celebrations around the world | World | News

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Samoa was of the first country to officially welcome the new year, followed shortly by New Zealand and Australia.

About 1.6 million people gathered in Sydney Harbour around 1pm GMT, to watch the breathtaking display of fireworks that ushered in the new year.

The fireworks display was held over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, coupled with a laser lights, music and cheers.

Japan, South Korea and several smaller islands spread across the Pacific were the next nations to flip over the calendars.

Outlying parts of the US, such as Hawaii and Alaska will be among the last places on the planet to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Which major cities will welcome 2018 first?

  • 11am GMT Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1pm GMT Sydney, Australia 
  • 3pm Tokyo
  • 4pm Beijing and Hong Kong 
  • 8pm Dubai 
  • 11pm Paris, Rome and Brussels
  • Midnight London 
  • 5am New York 
  • 8am Los Angeles 

Here are all the live updates from around the world in GMT.

3.10pm: Monster storm threatens New Year’s Day celebrations 

Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have warned of a 50 percent chance of a geomagnetic storm pummelling the planet tomorrow.

The main concern is that streams of solar material and magnetic fields from the sun could disrupt mobile phones, TVs and even internet connections.

Doug Biesecker from NOAA has said: “The possibility of an extreme CME causing a very powerful geomagnetic storm is real. 

“There’s considerable uncertainty to how frequent such storms are at the level where we worry about huge impacts on the power grid and the resulting impacts that a lack of electricity would have.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE: NEW YEAR’S DAY MONSTER STORM THREAT

3pm: Happy New Year Japan and South Korea!

The clock has struck midnight and the 2018 countdown is over as the two countries officially welcome the new year.

One of the main celebrations observed in Japan, known as Joya no Kane, sees shrines and temples up and down the country ring their bells a total of 108 times.

Other events in the Japanese capital saw revellers release thousands of gallons into the air from Tokyo Park alongside fireworks at Sea Paradise Aquarium in Yokohama.

Meanwhile in South Korea, a beautiful fireworks display of more than 150,000 pyrotechnics lit up Seoul’s’ skyline from Lotte World Tower.

The official celebrations are expected to carry on through into the morning, with thousands of cheerful revellers on the streets.

WATCH: NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS LIVE

2.30pm: Japan prepares for crucial New Year’s Eve countdown 

The New Year will officially kick off over Tokyo at 3pm GMT, when the clocks strike midnight in Japan.

Celebrations in Tokyo will be mirrored by those across the Sea of Japan, in the neighbouring South Korea, where Seoul and Busan have prepared massive festivities.

A fireworks dismay is also expected to be held in the North Korea capital Pyongyang.

2.20pm: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn issue New Year’s Eve messages

The Prime Minister and leader of the opposition wished Britons around the world good things and 

Ms May hoped that the new year would bring about ”renewed confidence and pride” in Brexit.

The Labour leader meanwhile declared that his party is “a government in waiting” and party “staking out the new centre ground in British politics”.

1pm: Happy New Year Australia and New Zealand!

New Year festivities have officially begun in the two countries where the clocks have struck midnight.

Australian authorities estimate nearly two million people lined Sydney Harbour to partake in the jubilation. 

The huge fireworks displays that lit up the night included a colourful rainbow cascading down Sydney Harbour Bridge and hundreds of bright outburst in the night.

But the countdown is not over because the Pacific island is spread across five different time zones. The last midnight bell will ring out over Western Australia at around 3.15pm GMT.

Celebrations first started in Samoa, a tiny little island in the Pacific, with a population of less than 200,000 people.

New Zealand followed Samoa about an hour later, with dazzling fireworks…


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