World Tsunami Awareness Day is observed on November 5 to promote a global awareness about risks associated with the tsunami and the preventive measures to be taken when tsunami approaches.
Observed on: November 5
Organized by: UN, IOC
Introduced in: 2016 (First Observation), 2015 (UN Declaration)
About World Tsunami Awareness Day
Tsunami is a chain of huge waves created by disturbance created underwater such as landslides, earthquake, coastal rock falls, volcanic eruptions or extraterrestrial collision. These waves are normally associated with earthquakes taking place under or around the ocean. The word “tsunami” comes from Japanese words “tsu” means “harbor” and “name” means “wave”.
Tsunamis are rare but it affects lot of people, one example such incident occurs is in 2004. Tsunami occurred in 2004 affected about five million people in 15 countries. Thus, it is important to increase awareness and make international cooperation in disaster reduction measures for tsunami.
United Nations General Assembly designated November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day in December 2015.
The date for the annual celebration was chosen in honour of the Japanese story of “Inamura-no-hi”, meaning the “burning of the rice sheaves”. The story says than during 1854 earthquake a farmer set fire to his entire harvest to warn villagers about tsunami, after he saw the tide receding. In the aftermath, he helped his community build back better to withstand future shocks, constructing an embankment and planting trees as a tsunami buffer.
Activities and Programs on the Day
Programs are conducted on this day to reduce disaster risk. Meeting, conferences, workshops, awareness programs, mock exercises, training programs, television programs or shows about tsunami, etc. are conducted on this day. Social media campaigns are done with hashtag #TsunamiDay and #BuildToLast
Programs are conducted based on a theme selected for the year. From 2016 onwards the themes are taken from the inspiration from seven targets of Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction.
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO works to coordinate national and regional tsunami early warning services to raise awareness about effective actions. IOC also assists member states through education programs and regular tsunami communication and evacuation exercises, increasing the coordination, readiness for and understanding of tsunamis among citizens and communities around the world.
Theme for World Tsunami Awareness Day
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2022 Theme is “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030 (Target G of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2021 Theme is “Substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030 (Target F of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2020 Theme is “Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020 (Target E of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2019 Theme was “Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030 (Target D of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2018 Theme was “Reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030 (Target C of ‘Sendai Seven’ campaign) (Align with the International Day for Disaster Reduction)“.
2017 Theme: “Substantially reduce the number of people affected globally by 2030, aiming to lower the average global figure per 100,000 in the decade 2020- 2030 compared to the period 2005-2015 (Target B of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“
2016 Theme: “Substantially reduce global disaster mortality by 2030, aiming to lower the average per 100,000 global mortality rate in the decade 2020- 2030 compared to the period 2005-2015 (Target A of ‘Sendai Seven Campaign’)“