November 5: World Tsunami Awareness Day

On November 5th, every year the World Tsunami Day is marked by the United Nations. UN designated the day in 2015. The day will promote Target (d) of the Sendai Seven Campaign that focuses in reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services.

Global Actions

  • After 3 weeks of the deadly December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, international community came together in Kobe, Japan and adopted the 10-year Hyogo Framework for Action. IT was the first comprehensive global agreement on disaster risk reduction
  • Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System was created to monitor sea level and disseminate alerts to national Tsunami information centres.

In Honor of a Japanese

The date was chosen in honor of a Japanese farmer. The name of the story is popularly known as “Inamura-no-hi” meaning “burning of the rice sheaves”. During 1854, the farmer saw a tide receding. Understanding the sign of looming Tsunami, he set fire to his entire harvest to warn the villagers. Later he also built an embankment and planted trees as a buffer against the future waves.

Significance

  • The UN calls on countries, international bodies to observe the day to raise awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction
  • By the end of 2030, around 50% of World Population living in coastal areas are to get exposed to storms, tsunamis and flooding.
  • Investment towards early warning systems, resilient infrastructure and education is important to save people and their assets.

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