World Tsunami Awareness Day 2020: Theme, History and Key Facts
World Tsunami Awareness Day 2020: It is observed on 5 November every year to promote national and local risk reduction plans. According to the UN, by 2030, an estimated 50 percent of the world's population will live in coastal areas exposed to flooding, storms, and tsunamis. Tsunamis are rare events but can be extremely deadly therefore proper plans and policies will help to reduce the tsunami impact and help to build more resilience and protect populations at risk.
Meaning of ‘Tsunami’
The term ‘Tsunami’ is a Japanese term which means “harbour wave”. A tsunami is a series of giant waves caused by earthquakes or undersea volcanic eruptions and underwater landslides.
Tsunami waves can travel at the speed of 800 km/hour and its height can be 20 feet to 300 feet. The speed of tsunami waves depends on the depth of the ocean. The speed of tsunami is fast in deep water while slow down when reaching shallow waters. Worth to mention that around 80% of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean.
Tsunamis are rare but extremely deadly waves. In the past 100 years, 58 tsunami incidents have claimed more than 2.6 lac lives or an average of 4,600 per disaster. These death tolls have made a tsunami the most dangerous natural disaster.
The deadliest Tsunami ever was recorded in the Indian Ocean in December 2004. It caused an estimated 2.27 lac deaths in 14 countries including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia.
History of World Tsunami Awareness Day
After the 2004 deadliest Tsunami in the Indian Ocean; The United Nations General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day from December 2015. The basic motive of this day is to increase the awareness about the Tsunami among over 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and Small Islands.
Theme World Tsunami Awareness Day 2020
This year’s observance promotes the "Sendai Seven Campaign,” target (e). This theme focuses on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and the disruption of basic services. The United Nations wants to increase the use of early warning systems, resilient infrastructure, educate people to save and protect their assets against tsunami risk in the future.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO raise global awareness about effective actions for mitigating damage, coordinate with national and regional tsunami early warning services, make policies and practices to reduce destruction through its Tsunami Warning System for the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Connected Sea regions, Caribbean, and North-Eastern Atlantic ocean.
In addition to the above efforts, the IOC also educated Member countries about the regular tsunami communication and evacuation exercises, increase readiness for and understanding of tsunamis among citizens and communities around the world.
So after observing the severity of the tsunami; the United Nations is also leaving no stone unturned to mitigate the damage and increase awareness about this natural calamity.