World Tsunami Awareness Day


"Risk reduction will be crucial to our efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. On World Tsunami Awareness Day, I encourage governments, local authorities and the construction industry to pursue risk-informed development and invest in resilience.”
— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

Japan is one of the countries worldwide that has always stood through adversities of times and risen out of the ashes like a phoenix. However difficult times may be, Japan and the Japanese people always come out strong and persistent.

Japan comprises mainly 4 lands named Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. These Islands are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters like Earthquakes, Volcanoes and consequently, Tsunami. Furthermore, it has the highest natural disaster risk in the Developed world.

What are Tsunami and their Causes

The word ‘Tsunami’ is of Japanese origin, where ‘tsu’ is Harbor and ‘nami’ depicts Waves. Tsunami is termed as a sea storm with vigorous waves originated underwater, usually due to earthquakes near or below the ocean.

A tsunami usually hits in waves, with the initial ones being less severe than 4th or 5th, which can cause vast destruction and devastation. These are caused due to at least one of the reasons mentioned below.

  • Earthquakes
  • Landslides
  • Volcanic Eruption
  • Extraterrestrial Collision

Japan and its History with Tsunami

Japan has a history of being inflicted with numerous natural disasters over the course of time. Tsunamis usually occur once every 10 years and the biggest ball dropped on Japan in 2011.

11th March of 2011 was a time of pure devastation and destruction for the Japanese people as an earthquake of 9.0 Magnitude hit the east coast of Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku. This event was termed as ‘Great East Japan Earthquake’.

In the wake of this devastation, around 15897 people lost their lives, 6157 injured and 2532 went missing, according to latest reports by Japanese National Police Agency.

Another earthquake hit near the island of Hokkaido, Japan in 1993, with a magnitude of 7.3. This Earthquake caused a tsunami that led to the deaths of around 300 people.  The people were ill equipped at that time and even with the Tsunami warning, this earthquake caused a lot of damage to the people and to Japan.

Not only Japan, many countries worldwide have been affected by such natural disasters that make it hard to recover from and move on. Countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Sumatra, Haiti all have suffered in the hands of natural disasters, losing precious lives and resources.

But the resilience and strength of people remains strong in this time and they come out Stronger.

A day Dedicated to the Tsunami Devastations

In the light of numerous natural disasters faced by the Japanese people, A day was decided to stand for the precious lives lost during these disasters. The Japanese people dedicated November 5th as the day they termed as ‘World Tsunami Awareness day’. This was advocated by Japan and then later on, in December 2015, the UN General Assembly coined the day after 142 other countries were in favor of this movement.

Every year on this day, The UN Calls for people to raise awareness regarding Tsunami and the extent to which they can cause devastations. People across share innovations and technologies to reduce the risk of Tsunamis and try to come up with better contingency plans in case of a disastrous natural occurrence.

According to a study, by 2030, almost 50% of the world will be at risk of being affected by Tsunamis, Earthquakes and flooding. It is for this very reason that the UN General Assembly wants people to build infrastructures strong enough to withhold any extent of a natural disaster. Not only that, it advises people to come up with better emergency plans and Plan Bs to minimize loss of precious lives and resources.