Tsunami and Tsunami Awareness Day – Everything you need to know


The United Nations General Assembly on 22 December 2015 adopted a resolution to observe 5 November of every year as World Tsunami Awareness Day. In 2004, fourteen countries were affected by the Tsunami and killed 230, 000 people. Countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia were completely devastated.

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Many disasters would not happen and many lives would be saved if there was greater public awareness about natural hazards like tsunamis.

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The creation of World Awareness Day is aimed at raising awareness among people across the world about the dangers of tsunami. This also stresses on the importance of early warning systems to detect the disaster and mitigate damage.

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The proposal about World Tsunami Awareness Day was first suggested by the Japanese Government after the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. Japan too has suffered heavy losses because of tsunamis. The recent Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011 claimed over 15000 lives, disrupted the nuclear power industry and left many thousands homeless.

Japan Tsunami latimes.com

Most of tsunamis are caused by an earthquake. Large earthquakes that occur under or near the ocean create movement under the sea floor. When these earthquakes originated at submarine level, the vibrations make the ocean water to ripple and move. A Powerful underwater earthquake causes the most deadly Tsunami. Tsunamis can also be caused by landslides or volcanic eruptions that happen on the ocean floor. It can also be caused by large meteorite impacts, but the chances are rare.

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A tsunami is an enormous wave of water. Most often it occurs in the Pacific Ocean because pacific ocean has many ocean trenches, mountain chains, and volcanoes on the ocean floor. There are total of 452 volcanoes along the “Ring of Fire” that can erupt at any time.

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Tsunamis reach coastal areas throwing enormous waves on the shore in a manner that can tear buildings apart and sweep people and vehicles away. They flood areas and have an energy that is often equivocated to the energy from multiple blasts.

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A tsunami warning system (TWS) is used to detect tsunami in advance and issue warnings to prevent loss of life and damage. It is made up of two components 1-a network of sensors that detect tsunamis by collecting real-time data from the deep ocean 2-a communications infrastructure to issue timely alarms to permit evacuation of the coastal areas.

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Tsunami warnings for most of the Pacific Ocean are issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), operated by the United States NOAA in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

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