Tsunami Current Affairs

November 5: World Tsunami Awareness Day

The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had constituted the day by adopting a resolution in December 2015. The proposal was first mooted by Japan after the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai (Japan) in March 2015.

2016 Theme:Effective Education and Evacuation Drills”.

Significance of the Day

  • Spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.
  • Stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity.

Background

November 5 was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day by UNGA to coincide with the annual anniversary of the 1854 Inamura-no-hi (Fire of Inamura) event. On this day in 1854, a villager in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan through his quick action had saved countless lives after he had set fire to sheaves of rice on the top of a hill, thus warning people of the imminent danger of a tsunami. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.

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First World Tsunami Awareness Day to be celebrated at AMCDRR 2016

The first World Tsunami Awareness Day will be celebrated on November 5, 2016 at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.

The conference will organised from November 3 to 5, 2016 in New Delhi by the Union Government in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

To commemorate the occasion, an event will be organised with Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champions at the AMCDRR 2016.

About World Tsunami Awareness Day

  • The World Tsunami Awareness Day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting a resolution proposed by Japan.
  • The objective of the day is to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami and stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity. It also seeks to revive traditional knowledge about tsunamis.
  • Background: November 5 was selected by UNGA to coincide with the annual anniversary of the 1854 Inamura-no-hi (Fire of Inamura) event. On this day in 1854, a villager in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan through his quick action had saved countless lives when he set fire to sheaves of rice on the top of a hill, thus warning people of the imminent danger of a tsunami. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.

India’s initiatives

  • Following the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, Central Government established an Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC). It is operational since October 2007.
  • ITEWC was established under the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) at Hyderabad.
  • The Centre has state-of-the-art infrastructure for generating and disseminating tsunami bulletins for the entire Indian Ocean region.
  • Besides, India along with 23 other Indian Ocean countries had participated in a tsunami mock drill in September 2016.

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