UN designates 5th November as World Tsunami Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution to designate 5th November every year as World Tsunami Awareness Day.
The observance of the day would help to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami and shall stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity.
The proposal in this regard was first mooted by the Government of Japan after the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai (Japan) in March 2015.
Significance of the Day: November 5 has been selected by UNGA to coincide with the annual anniversary of the 1854 Inamura-no-hi or “Fire of Inamura” event. On this day of that year a Japanese villager through his quick action saved countless lives when he set fire to sheaves of rice, thus warning people of the imminent danger of a tsunami. Note: The International Day for Disaster Reduction has been observed annually on October 13 to highlight tsunami.
Japan had suffered heavy losses as a result of tsunamis in the past and the most recently Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011. It had claimed over 15,000 lives and also had disrupted the nuclear power industry and left many thousands homeless.
While on 26 December 2004 i.e. on Boxing Day, the Indian Ocean tsunami had claimed arounf 230000 lives. The devastating tsunami was formed due to earthquake with its epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It had affected lives and the natural environment in six countries in the region including India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Thailand.