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History, Significance, and All You Need to Know

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Every year, November 5 marks the World Tsunami Awareness Day to spread awareness about the deadly natural disaster which claimed lives over 260,000 people. According to a report by the United Nations official website, the deadly disaster of Tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004 surpassed any other natural hazard which occurred in past 100 years.

Millions of deaths took place, and 14 countries were affected by the tsunami. The hardest hit country was Thailand, and an estimate suggests that 2,27,000 died alone in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. In a bid to spread the awareness, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2015 declared November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day. And, since then, the day has been observed continuously every year.

The policy-making organ of the UN called on civil societies, countries, and several international bodies to raise awareness and share their innovative approaches to minimize the risk caused by Tsunami. Mainly, the day is observed to create cognizance of Tsunami among people and for the 700 million population, who is currently living in low-lying islands and coastal areas.

The theme of World Tsunami Awareness Day 2020 was Sendai Seven Campaign, which uplifted the development of strategies at community- national level to save more lives and reduce risk against the natural hazard.

According to UN report, an estimate of 50 per cent population of the world will be living in coastal areas, which are highly exposed to storms, tsunamis, and flooding. It is important to educate everyone about the risks associated with Tsunami and plan policies and strategies to reduce the impacts in order to build a resilient population.

In 2020, the World Tsunami Awareness Day was structured as a 30-day campaign. Wherein, a particular focus was put on scientific expertise, indigenous knowledge, and memory of tsunami of December 2004.

Recently, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has given a message for World Tsunami Awareness Day. He said that we need to be ready as complex global crisis are increasing. It’s important to reduce tsunami risk and build resilience against all disasters and for that we need to deliver on the Sendai Framework.

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