Pengunjung memadati Times Square, New York, AS, pada Minggu (31/12/2017). Mereka bersiap menyambut Tahun Baru di tengah cuaca dingin. (AFP)

New York Menggigil Sambut Tahun Baru

JAKARTA (IndependensI.com) – Warga New York masih harus menunggu beberapa jam lagi untuk merayakan pergantian tahun. Berdasarkan zona waktunya, kota di Amerika Serikat itu baru akan memasuki Tahun Baru pada 1 Januari 2018 pukul 12.00 WIB.

Sekitar dua juta orang bersiap merayakannya di tengah cuaca dingin di Times Square dan sekitarnya. Suhu udara mencapai -10 derajat Celcius yang tercatat sebagai titik terendah sejak 1962. Badan pemantau cuaca memperingatkan temperatur bakan lebih dingin lagi saat tengah malam.

Pemerintah setempat menerapkan pengamanan ketat untuk mengantisipasi serangan teroris seperti yang terjadi pada Desember dan Oktober 2017. Lebih dari 20 ruas jalan ditutup. Polisi memasang barikade dan truk berisi pasir di berbagai tempat. Anjing pelacak bom juga disebar.

Setiap orang yang masuk ke kawasan Times Square harus melewati dua kali pemeriksaan. Para pengunjung diwajibkan memperlihatkan semua bawang bawaannya, termasuk membuka tas kecil dan dompet.

Pengamanan juga dilakukan di hotel dan restoran di sekitar Times Square untuk mencegah terjadinya serangan seperti di Las Vegas pada Oktober 2017. Waktu itu, seorang laki-laki memberondongkan senjata api ke arah kerumunan orang dari sebuah hotel. Serangan itu menewaskan 58 orang.

Di tengah cuaca dingin dan keamanan ketat, para pengunjung tetap antusias menyambut Tahun Baru.

“Ini adalah hari paling menakjubkan sepanjang hidup saya. Saya sudah siap menghadapi cuaca dingin,” kata Hader Ghulam. Mahasiswa Pakistan berusia 27 tahun yang belajar di Oklahoma itu baru kali ini mengunjungi New York.

Pengunjung Times Square mengenakan jaket berlapis dan selimut untuk menghadapi cuaca dingin saat menyambut Tahun Baru.

Amber Gerrits, mahasiswa dari Michigan, juga tidak cemas.

“Saya baik-baik saja,” kata Gerrits yang datang dengan memakai pakaian berlapis-lapis itu untuk menghadapi cuaca dingin.

“Dan kami tidak berencana minum terlalu banyak air,” kata perempuan berusia 21 itu merujuk pada sulitnya mencari tempat buang air.

Perayaan di Times Square akan dimeriahkan dengan pertunjukan musik, pesta kembang api, hujan confetti, dan 25.000 balon.

Wali Kota Bill de Blasio akan menekan tombol yang menggerakkan bola turun dari tiang untuk menandai datangnya Tahun Baru. Dia akan didampingi Tarana Burke, pemimpin gerakan melawan pelecahan seksual #MeToo.

Sejumlah pesohor juga akan hadir antara lain Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Nick Jonas, dan Camila Cabello.

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