First World Tsunami Awareness Day to be observed on Nov 5

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New Delhi, Oct 12 The First World Tsunami Awareness Day will be observed on November 5 during the upcoming Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016, a government release said on Wednesday.

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The conference slated to take place here between November 2-5, is being organised by the government of India in collaboration with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). It will include various activities to raise awareness through thematic events, exhibitions, and distribution of awareness materials.

"The observance of the day would help to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami and shall stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard," the release said.

"It also aims at reviving traditional knowledge about tsunamis," it added.

India, along with 23 other Indian Ocean countries, participated in a tsunami mock drill on September 7-8. Besides increasing awareness, the drill evaluated the preparedness of participating nations to handle tsunami and other similar emergency situations.

Following the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries, the Indian government established an Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) under the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) at Hyderabad.

The centre, operational since October 2007, has state-of-the-art infrastructure for generating and disseminating tsunami bulletins for the entire Indian Ocean region.

On November 5, 1854, a villager in Wakayama prefecture, Japan, was concerned about an impending tsunami after a high-intensity earthquake. He set on fire rice sheaves on the top of a hill.

Fellow villagers, who went atop to put off the fire, were saved even as a tsunami destroyed their village down below.

To commemorate that day of "Inamura no Hi" (the burning of rice sheaves), a resolution was jointly proposed by 142 countries, including Japan, as a follow-up of the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UN designated November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day.

IANS

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