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November 5 is World Tsunami Awareness Day

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations General Assembly recently passed a resolution recognizing Nov. 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

Margareta Wahlström, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, welcomed the approval of the resolution led by Japan and Chile, which in recent years have suffered devastation caused by tsunami.

Japan Times said Nov. 5 came from the “Fire of Inamura” event, when a village chief warned others of a tsunami in 1854 by setting fire to his sheaves of rice. The same day is celebrated as Tsunami Preparedness Day in Japan.

“Many disasters would not happen and many lives and livelihoods would be saved if there was greater public awareness of the threats posed by natural hazards such as tsunamis,” Wahlström said.

“It will help to focus attention on measures which can be taken to reduce risks from both man-made and natural hazards and to ensure that more people live and work in places which are free from the threat not just of tsunamis but other sudden onset hazards such as earthquakes, floods and storms,” she added.

According to the UN, the Japanese government first moved for the proposal after the Third UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March.

In 2011, Japan suffered heavy losses as a result of the great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, which claimed over 15,000 lives and disrupted the nuclear power industry in the country.

Wahlström also recalled the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed over 230,000 lives in countries in South and Southeast Asia.

“The memory of that event helped to ensure the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction this year, which sets targets for the first time on reducing mortality, the numbers of people affected, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure from disasters,” she said.

ACIRC ATILDE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION EAST JAPAN FIRE OF INAMURA INDIAN OCEAN JAPAN AND CHILE JAPAN TIMES MARGARETA WAHLSTR SENDAI FRAMEWORK SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
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