World Tsunami Awareness Day

“Tsunamis happen rarely. So, in our day-to-day struggles with life, many of us put it on the back burner. This can prove unfortunate if one occurs”- Mika Odido

A tsunami is one of the very many natural disasters that demands adequate awareness. In a nutshell, tsunamis are massive waves arising due to volcanic eruptions taking place under the sea. A large volume of water is displaced causing destruction of livelihood, loss of life, mass injuries and loss of natural resources. The effects can be categorized as follows:

• Ecological

• Physical

• Health

The Indian Ocean earthquake that took place in 2004 is one of the deadliest tsunamis which a lot of Sri Lankans have experienced firsthand. It caused an estimated 227,000 fatalities in 14 countries. At that time, many people were not even aware of the word “tsunami “. Lack of knowledge was one of the major reasons for the massive death rate, because early signs are not taken into account. Since in nature, tsunamis early signs are very implicit and unpredictable, it stresses the importance of tsunami awareness.

Research has shown that sea-level rise has intensified the tsunami hazard. In other words, smaller tsunamis will be as impactful as the big tsunamis in the future. Coastal zones are exposed to more threats of natural hazards such as sea-level rise, storms, and tsunamis. And the fact that these are more densely populated in the coastal zones and exhibits urbanization is being witnessed, which is also a risk factor for ecosystem degradation and emphasizes the threat of a tsunami.

The UN General assembly has designated 5th of November as world tsunami awareness day. This day is solely dedicated to enlightening the causes and effects of tsunamis with the aim of risk reduction and sharing innovative approaches to mitigating high risk. Moreover, to ensure communities act decisively rather than panicking. Tsunami Awareness Day focuses mainly on educating them on the importance of an early warning system to diminish damage from an often-devastating natural disaster.

Written by : Rtr. Mohamed Saifudeen Safa

Thumbnail Designed by : Rtr. Sujana Tharmalingam

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