World Tsunami Awareness Day is an annual observance aimed at promoting global awareness on the risks associated with tsunamis and enhancing preparedness among coastal communities. It emphasizes the importance of early warning systems, education, and disaster risk reduction strategies to minimize the loss of life and property during such catastrophic events. This day provides an opportunity for governments, civil society, and individuals to engage in dialogue and exchange best practices for effective risk management and resilience building.
The United Nations General Assembly designated November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day in December 2015, in honor of the Japanese story of the "Inamura-no-hi," a tale of a farmer who saved his community from a tsunami by setting fire to rice sheaves. South Africa, with its extensive coastline, is no stranger to the potential threat posed by tsunamis. The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which affected many countries, highlighted the need for effective disaster risk reduction measures and early warning systems even in countries like South Africa that have relatively low tsunami risk compared to other regions.
In South Africa, World Tsunami Awareness Day is utilized to draw attention to the importance of understanding the threats and vulnerabilities associated with tsunamis. The South African government, together with various stakeholders, organizes seminars, workshops, and educational programs to raise awareness and advance the development of early warning systems and risk reduction strategies. Special attention is given to coastal communities, emergency responders, and decision-makers. World Tsunami Awareness Day takes place annually on November 5, providing a crucial platform to reinforce South Africa's commitment to minimizing the impacts of tsunamis and other related hazards.
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References and related sitesUN: Tsunami Day