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World turns off for Earth Hour 2013

Staff writers

March 23, 2013 — Earth Hour has begun in some parts of the world as homes and businesses turn off their lights for one hour, at 8:30 p.m. local time to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

Sydney's iconic Opera House goes green for Earth Hour (Courtesy WWF Australia)
Sydney's iconic Opera House goes green for Earth Hour (Courtesy WWF Australia)

Millions of people around the world are getting set to mark the arrival of Earth Hour by turning off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time. 

The annual event will be celebrated by a record 7,000 cities in over 150 countries and sees many famous landmarks go dark for the event. 

Organizers are asking participants to switch off lights that will not affect public safety. 

The event is led by the World Wildlife Fund, which hopes to raise global awareness about climate change that will extend beyond the hour-long event.

Some cities around the world have already begun their celebrations. 

Sky Tower goes dark for Earth Hour in Auckland (Courtesy Earth Hour Global)
Sky Tower goes dark for Earth Hour in Auckland (Courtesy Earth Hour Global)

The island of Samoa in the south Pacific was the first nation to celebrate the event, 13 hours ahead of Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT). 

Fiji marked the event with the world's first ever Earth Hour Night Ride. 200 cyclists took to the capital Suva with only energy efficient lights as guides. 

In Auckland, New Zealand, the cities famous Sky Tower went dark while in Wellington, the parliament buildings joined in on the event. 

Sydney, Australia was the city that started Earth Hour in 2007 and today the iconic Harbour Bridge went dark for an hour while the Opera House turned green to symbolize renewable energy.  

Many cities in Asia joined in on the celebrations. 

In Singapore, more than 100 buildings turned off their lights.  

Celebrations in Tokyo will include an illuminated egg that will be powered by visitors taking turns on pedal bicycles. 

Despite being named as the world's worst city for light pollution - sometimes measuring 1,200 times the internationally accepted standard - Hong Kong was able to go dark for Earth Hour

Seoul's Namsan tower, a 63 story building, went dark as Earth Hour arrived.

Malaysia's famous Petronas twin towers - the third tallest buildings in the world - joined in on the celebrations.

The tower that overtook it as world's tallest, Taipei 101, was noticeably darker for Earth Hour.  

In Mumbai, monuments such as the CST administrative building, the BMC headquarters, and Gateway of India all participated in Earth Hour events.

The world's tallest building went dark in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa shut its lights while people held a candle parade nearby.  

Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan celebrated the big day by turning off the Flame Towers, the tallest buildings in Baku, and also 8 other major landmarks.

Doha, Qatar took part by turning off the lights of its famous Tornado Tower. 

In China, Shanghai's famous Bund turned off its lights while in the central city of Wuhan, the Yangtze River bridge plunged into darkness.

Lights went out at 8:30 p.m. local time sharp at the Sultan Hassal Bolkiah Stadium in Brunei for the special hour.

Dancers and performers turned Earth Hour into an entertaining one in the Philippines.

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