Tsunamis are one of the most devastating natural disasters affecting the lives of several people. World Tsunami Awareness Day is celebrated across the world on November 5 every year. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly marked November 5 as the day to raise awareness about tsunamis. Tsunami Warning as Powerful Earthquake Hits Southwest Indonesia.
This year, the day will promote Target (d) of the ‘Sendai Seven campaign’ which focusses on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and the disruption of the basic service. From investing in good infrastructure to educating people on how to identify early warning signs to saving people and protecting their assets against the tsunami risks in future, the 2019 World Tsunami Awareness Day will focus on a lot of things.
Over 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and places exposed to extreme sea-level events including tsunamis. World Tsunami Awareness Day, therefore, aims to spread awareness through educational programmes and also highlight the various evacuation exercises, which people need to know when struck by the calamity. International cooperation also plays a very vital factor for deeper political and public understanding of risk reduction measures.
Over the past 100 years, more than 2.6 lakh people have died in 58 separate tsunamis. Which means at an average it is 4,600 deaths per disaster and it has surpassed any other natural disaster. According to an article on Vikaspedia, the day is celebrated to honour a true story from Japan which involved the burning of rice sheaves. It so happened that during an 1854 earthquake, a farmer saw the tide receding, which is a sign of an impending tsunami. He immediately set fire to his harvested farm to alert his fellow villagers, who fled to high ground.
The occurrence of a natural disaster is not known and no one can predict the intensity of a calamity. However, there are few warning signals, which cannot be ignored and identifying them at the right time can surely help to reduce the disastrous effects of a tsunami or any other natural calamities.