Some 40,000 residents of Tel Aviv gathered Thursday evening in Rabin Square to participate in the "Earth Hour" - an international event intended to raise environmental consciousness by encouraging residents to turn off their lights and anything that uses electricity for an hour beginning at 8 p.m. The event was attended by President Shimon Peres, who led the countdown from the roof of Tel Aviv's Azrieli Tower. The event was termed as a "great success" by the Tel Aviv Municipality. The municipality went on to say that electricity savings during the event exceeded the total saved energy in the city of Sydney during last year's event. Tel Aviv is one of 24 major world cities to participate in the annual event.