The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016. The theme for the year is Effective Education and Evacuation Drills.
In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.
Significance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day
- The significance of the day to tsunami awareness can be traced back to the year 1854. A villager in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, was concerned about an impending tsunami after a high-intensity earthquake on 5 November 1854. He set up a fire to rice sheaves on the top of a hill. Fellow villagers, who went atop to put off the fire, were saved even as a tsunami destroyed their village down below. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.
- To commemorate that day of “Inamura no Hi” (the burning of rice sheaves), a resolution was jointly proposed by 142 countries including Japan as a follow up of the thirdUN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The United Nations designated the 5th November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.
- The observance of the day will help to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.
- It will also stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard.
- It also aims at reviving traditional knowledge about tsunamis.
- Awareness raising activities will be organized throughout the Conference through thematic events, exhibitions, and distribution of awareness materials.