World Tsunami Awareness Day

World Tsunami Awareness Day is celebrated every 5th of November in order to emphasize the importance of disaster prevention and awareness. This day aims to give importance to early warnings, the role of public education on science in order to give a clear understanding of tsunamis, and the development of measures that will mitigate the costly effects of tsunamis.

About World Tsunami Awareness Day

What are the characteristics of a tsunami?

A tsunami is a series of waves brought by sudden disturbances in the sea or ocean. They are most commonly caused by earthquakes under the ocean. But they can also be caused by volcanic activities, landslides, some weather disturbances, and the fall of meteorites into the sea.

Most tsunamis are less than 10 feet in height. But there are extreme cases when they reach over 100 feet. These kinds of tsunamis are those that devastate coastal areas and reach even the mainland cities causing mass flooding, destruction of properties, and death of people. The first wave of a tsunami may only be mild or not damaging. However, the danger of tsunamis can last up to a few hours or even days. Small tsunamis may not devastate coastal areas but they are dangerous to swimmers, surfers, and boats on the ocean.

Any kind of coast is prone to tsunamis. But those that are most vulnerable are low-lying areas like bays, beaches, lagoons, river mouths, and harbors. Tsunamis are very much unpredictable in the long run. They can occur any time, season, or in any weather. They can arise far away from the ocean or even near coasts, the latter of which can arrive in coastal areas only minutes after the disturbance.

How is a tsunami predicted?

Fortunately, experts are now capable of warning people about tsunamis. For instance, the occurrence of earthquakes in the ocean, especially strong ones, can be detected by experts and they can estimate if there will be a tsunami and how high it will be. Doing so will allow them to warn people to evacuate immediately so that they can escape from the havoc of a tsunami.

What is the World Tsunami Awareness Day?

In addition, to help people prevent themselves from getting devastated by a tsunami, World Tsunami Awareness Day was stated. This day aims to inform people about the threat of tsunamis, how to prepare for them, how to restore areas devastated by a tsunami, and how to help people who became victims of a tsunami.


Even though tsunamis are rare, when they occur, they can be extremely devastating and deadly. In the past century, an estimated 300,000 people have died because of tsunamis. The estimated average number of casualties for a tsunami is 4,600, more than any other natural or man-made disaster.

Because of the devastating effects of Tsunami, World Tsunami Awareness Day was declared by the UN General Assembly on the 5th of November. Such date was chosen to commemorate a story in Japan called “Inamura-no-hi”, which means the “burning of the rice sheaves”. This tells a story of the aftermath of an 1854 earthquake wherein a farmer saw the tides receding which is a sign of an upcoming tsunami. To warn the villagers, he set fire to the rice he harvested and made them run to the high ground. Because of that, many lives were saved. After the tsunami, he helped his community withstand the future threats of a tsunami by constructing an embankment along the coast and planting trees that can weaken the force of an upcoming tsunami.

Similarly, World Tsunami Awareness Day wants to do what the heroic man did – to spread awareness about the dangers of a tsunami and the importance of early warning systems that can detect tsunamis and construct measures that mitigate their effects. This special day, in general, also calls on all countries, civil societies, and international bodies to help educate people about tsunamis.


World Tsunami Awareness Day is always celebrated on the 5th of November each year. This means that the upcoming World Awareness Day will be celebrated on, November 5

Why Celebrate

The following are the main reasons why you should take part in the celebration of the World Tsunami Day:

To Become Knowledgeable About Tsunamis

One good reason why you should participate in the celebration of this special day is that this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about tsunamis and become a knowledge powerhouse about it. You can contribute more for this day by sharing all the facts that you have learned about tsunamis so that more and more people will be able to learn more about this natural disaster.

To Become Prepared for Tsunamis

Another reason why you should celebrate this day is that this is the ideal time for you to become always be prepared in case a tsunami comes. During this day, a lot of experts teach people how to become resilient to a tsunami. This is especially important and useful if you live along the coasts.

To Help the Victims

Another reason why you should celebrate this day is that this is the opportune time for you to be able to help victims of tsunami. Areas devastatingly wrecked by tsunamis really need the help and support of people from other places. You can lend a hand by either volunteering or donating. You can be a good Samaritan and a good person to other people when you do this.

Celebration Ideas and Activities

The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the World Tsunami Awareness Day as best as it can be:

Educate Yourself About Tsunami

One good thing to do for this day is to educate yourself about tsunamis. You can attend conferences and seminars teaching people about tsunami. Or you can stay and learn at home by reading a book or watching online videos about tsunamis.

Share Your Knowledge with Others

Of course, the knowledge about tsunamis that you have in your head should not stay there alone. You should also share your learnings with other people so that not only you can prepare for a tsunami but also for them. If you live in a community that is located along or near the coast, then this is all the more reason for you to spread information and awareness about tsunamis.

Donate and Volunteer

Another good thing to do for your celebration of this day is to donate and volunteer. This is going the good deeds. If there is an area that has been wrecked by a tsunami, then you can perhaps volunteer there to help the people in need. If you cannot physically be there, then you can just donate some things – simple or grand – for the victims’ welfare. For instance, you can donate clothes and food.

Share the Word on Social Media

You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. You can use the hashtag #WorldTsunamiAwarenessDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this day. By doing this, you can also spread awareness about such a celebration, and with that, people will become curious about this day and its objectives.

Interesting Facts

  • The common causes of tsunami include an underwater earthquake, a volcano eruption and a landslide.
  • Only on very few occasions a tsunami is due to a giant meteor in the ocean.
  • Tsunami waves can be as high as 100 feet.
  • The length of a tsunami can be as long as 100 kilometers and the distances of continually occurring tsunami can be as long as 1 hour.
  • Tsunamis can travel up to the speed of 500- 800 kilometers per hour.
  • About 80% of the tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire – countries on lands with most volcanoes.
  • Tsunami is also commonly known as killer waves or tidal wave. But the scientific community prefer to call them tsunami instead of tidal wave so that people won’t get confused tsunami with normal tides.
  • One of the most devastating tsunamis ever recorded in history is the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 had an epicenter of 9.0 magnitude and killed over 216,000 people in 14 countries.
  • The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 hit 11 countries from Thailand to Africa.
  • According to scientists, in the year 1700, a tsunami of magnitude 9 occurred in the Pacific Ocean in the northwest and caused massive flooding and damage in Japan.
  • Tsunamis can travel as fast as 5000 miles per hour, without being noticed and can cross the entire ocean in less than a day. A Tsunami can be even less than 30 centimeters in height and can pass unnoticed.
  • One should not swim in the tsunami water since the current will always pull anything to the opposite direction.
  • The places with the greatest risk of tsunami are Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska and California.
  • Tsunami is a term, which literally means a harbor wave. A term specific to Japan.
  • Thucydides, a Greek historian in his book History of Peloponnesian War was first associated the term tsunamis with underwater earthquakes.
  • Deep in the ocean, tsunamis are only 1-3 feet tall and the passers may not even be aware of the occurring tsunami under the water.
  • Palm trees with strong trunks are planted on shore as they are known to survive a tsunami.
  • A mega tsunami has very huge waves and occurred in Alaska in 1958. Surprisingly only two people died.
  • The costliest tsunami occurred in U.S. and Canada in 1964. Damage was as huge as $106 million.
  • When stuck in Tsunami, it is recommended to grab a floating object and allow the current to carry you.
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