World Tsunami Awareness Day Current Affairs - 2020

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.

World Tsunami Awareness Day: November 5

The World Tsunami Awareness Day is observed every year across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami. This year it was third edition of World Tsunami Awareness Day after it was instituted in 2015.

2018 World Tsunami Awareness Day is aligned with International Day for Disaster Reduction (observed on 13 October) and “Sendai Seven Campaign”. It focused on Target “c” of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which aims at reducing direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP.

Significance of the Day

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

Background

The World Tsunami Awareness Day was designated by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 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.

This day coincides 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.

Tsunami

Tsunamis are large waves that approach crashing on coasts due to seafloor movement, majorly associated with landslides or earthquakes. The word “tsunami” gets its name from the Japanese “tsu” means harbor and “nami” means wave.

Tsunami is chain of huge waves created by disturbance created underwater. These waves are normally associated with earthquakes taking place under or around the ocean. Other causes of Tsunami may be submarine landslides, coastal rock falls, volcanic eruptions or extraterrestrial collision.

Like many other natural disasters, it is difficult to predict tsunamis but it can be suggested that seismically active areas are more at risk. Tsunami waves are highly dangerous and generally look like strong walls of water. The strong waves can attack seashore for hours, thereby destructing thousands of lives.