World Tsunami Awareness Day Date in the current year: November 5, 2018

World Tsunami Awareness Day World Tsunami Awareness Day is an annual United Nations observance held on November 5. It was officially proclaimed by a UN General Assembly resolution in December 2015 and has been observed every year since.

A tsunami, also known as a tidal wave or seismic sea wave, is a series of waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean. Tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, glacier calvings, landslides, and other disturbances below or above water. About 80% of tsunami waves occur in the Pacific Ocean. They are one of the deadliest natural disasters, having killed more than 260,000 people in the past century.

World Tsunami Awareness Day was initiated by Japan, which has the longest recorded history of tsunamis. Due to its bitter experience, this country has accumulated major expertise in areas such as tsunami early warning, public action and disaster risk reduction.

November 5 was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day in honor of the Japanese story of “Inamura-no-hi”, which can be translated as the “burning of the rice sheaves”. During an earthquake that took place on November 5, 1854 a Japanese farmer saw the tide receding, which is a sign of a looming tsunami. He set fire to all of his rice sheaves to warn villagers, who fled and saved themselves. After the tsunami, he built an embankment and planted trees to protect the village from future tsunamis.

The main goal of World Tsunami Awareness Day is to raise public awareness about the danger of tsunamis and to promote the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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World Tsunami Awareness Day, UN observances, international observances, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction