Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Tsunami Awareness Day

5 November

Though they may be rare, tsunamis are among the most devastating natural disasters. They know no coastal borders. Coastal communities – often concentrated in low-lying and highly populated areas – are the most potentially vulnerable to coastal hazards including tsunamis, with heavy human and economic losses. International cooperation is key for deeper political and public understanding; as well as involvement in reducing our risks from these coastal natural hazards.

In December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day to promote a global culture of tsunami awareness.

At its fourth edition, the 2019 World Tsunami Awareness Day promotes Target (d) of the "Sendai Seven Campaign" which focuses on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services. Over 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and Small Island Developing States exposed to extreme sea-level events including tsunamis (according to the UN IPCC). Investing in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems, and education is critical to saving people and protecting their assets against tsunami risk in the future.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO works to coordinate national and regional tsunami early warning services, raising global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices to reduce exposure to disaster risk through its four Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems for the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, and North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Sea regions. The IOC also assists Member States through education programmes and regular tsunami communication and evacuation exercises, increasing the coordination, readiness for and understanding of tsunamis among citizens and communities around the world.

For more information, please visit IOC Tsunami.
  

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

Saving lives and protecting the livelihoods of communities at risk of tsunamis requires sustained investment in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems and education. In this field especially, we need to build the future we want today.

—  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Tsunami Awareness Day

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