World Tsunami Awareness Day


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We celebrate the World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5.



Photo credit, from top to bottom: Chris Grafton, Matt Hardy, UNESCO.

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 third edition, the 2018 World Tsunami Awareness Day celebrates efforts to “reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to global GDP by 2030” when a tsunami strikes. This theme takes inspiration from Target (c) of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which aims at reducing the number of people affected globally by disasters.

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.


“It is the most vulnerable coastal communities – whose incomes depend on tourism, fishing and aquaculture – who are the most severely affected by such disasters. It is our absolute responsibility to promote and integrate disaster risk management approaches in these areas, and raise the populations’ awareness of these risks, in order to build resilience.”

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

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How to get involved

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Why are International Days important? They provide unique opportunities to transmit UNESCO values to the world.


International days also provide a unique opportunity to engage citizens on global issues, to mobilise political will and resources to address these problems, but also to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity as well as remember some of our darkest times as they guide us towards building a better world.

The United Nations International Days are for everyone, all around the globe. Because they are open, you can have an important role to play in them. NGOs, universities, schools, press and more will be putting together campaigns, events, and calls to action worldwide to provide further opportunities to engage, learn, and transmit the values and knowledge associated with each International Day. They serve as an important vehicle to connect the local to the international.

At their root, UN International Days contribute to the achievement of the purposes of the UN Charter and promote awareness of and action on important political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues. International days are at the heart of the United Nations Charter. They work to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.

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