World Tsunami Awareness Day

Tsunamis are destructive forces of nature that are characterized by a series of ocean waves that can reach heights up to 100 feet. These waves are caused by an underwater disturbance of some sort such as an earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, or even a meteor impact.

These giant waves can travel up to 500 miles an hour and can be devastating to coastal villages, towns, and cities. Fortunately, early warning systems and early action can help to mitigate some of the loss of life associated with them.

To raise awareness about tsunamis and to encourage better warning systems, World Tsunami Awareness Day was invented. This holiday falls on November 5th and encourages more to be done to give people the forewarning they need to survive a tsunami.

The History Of World Tsunami Awareness Day

World Tsunami Awareness Day was first designated by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015. The 5th of November was chosen as the day for which this holiday should be observed.

Why this date? Well, this date was chosen because this is when the Japanese practice of Inamura-no-hi (the burning of rice sheaves) takes place. And this practice goes back to a mid-19th-century event. Let’s take a closer look at that event.

In 1854, the Ansei Nankai Earthquake took place which created a tsunami. After feeling the earthquake, a farmer who lived near the village of Hiromura anticipated that a tsunami was on its way.

This was confirmed by his observations of the sudden drop in well water and a lowering of the tide—two distinct warning signs of an oncoming tsunami. To warn the village, he set fire to his sheaves of rive, his whole year’s rice harvest. Due to this warning, the village took to higher ground and their lives were spared.

Important Facts About Tsunami

Now we’re in the portion of this holiday article where we take the time to talk about the subject of the holiday. That means that we’re going to be currently talking about tsunamis. So we hope that everyone enjoys the following facts about tsunamis below.

  • Tsunami means “harbor wave” in Japanese.
  • Approximately 80% of all tsunamis happen in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire.
  • U.S states at greatest risk of tsunamis are Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington.
  • The initial wave of a tsunami isn’t usually the strongest.

Observing World Tsunami Awareness Day

During this “holiday,” the word is spread about the importance of improved tsunami warning systems. Everyone who lives in an area that could possibly be impacted by a tsunami to petition their local government to install better warning systems.

People can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #WorldTsunamiAwarenessDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2023)
November 5 Sunday
Next year (2024)
November 5 Tuesday
Last year (2022)
November 5 Saturday
Nature & Environment, United Nations