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World Tsunami Awareness Day 2023 Date, history, meaning and more details here, is the result of Japan’s bitter experience of witnessing deadly tsunami waves.
World Tsunami Awareness Day is a result of Japan’s bitter experience of witnessing deadly tsunami waves. The day is celebrated on November 5 and is a reminder to raise awareness about deadly waves and what to do if you get caught in such a situation.
Although this phenomenon is rare, tsunamis have claimed many lives, especially during the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
History of World Tsunami Awareness Day
World Tsunami Awareness Day was commemorated on November 5 during the 70th United Nations General Assembly in resolution A/RES/70/203, of December 22, 2015. It was commemorated after the 2004 Tsunami. in the Indian Ocean.
142 countries proposed this after the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). This was organized in March 2015 by the Japanese Government by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2015.
What is a tsunami?
The word tsunami is derived from the Japanese words “tsu” (meaning port) and “nami” (meaning wave). A tsunami is a progression of giant waves formed by underwater movements usually related to earthquakes that occur under or near the sea.
Volcanic emissions, underwater avalanches, and offshore rockfalls can also create a tsunami wave. They start from an upward development of the ocean floor with the consequent relocation of the mass of water. Tsunami waves often appear as watersheds and can attack the coast and be dangerous for quite some time, with waves arriving every five minutes to an hour.
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The main wave may not be the largest, and it is usually the second, third, fourth or much later ones that are the largest. After a wave submerges or floods inland, it retreats back into the ocean regularly, so that the ocean floor is exposed. At that moment, the next wave quickly reaches the shore and carries with it the debris carried by the past waves.
What are the reasons for tsunami waves?
This is very likely due to developments along deficiency zones related to plate boundaries. Most solid earthquakes occur in subduction zones where a marine plate slides beneath a continental plate or another younger marine plate.
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There are four fundamental conditions for an earthquake to cause a tsunami wave:
- The earthquake should occur under the sea or cause the material to slide into the sea.
- The tremor should be solid, basically magnitude 6.5 on the Richter scale.
- The tremor should burst the Earth’s surface and occur at shallow depths, less than 70 kilometers below the Earth’s outer layer.
- The seismic tremor should cause a vertical development of the ocean floor (up to a few meters).
A landslide that occurs along the coast can carry a lot of water into the ocean, disturbing the water and creating a wave. Submerged landslides can also cause waves when material released by the slide moves wildly, pushing water before it.
Although not very common, extremely explosive volcanic eruptions can cause dangerous tsunami waves to form.
One of the largest and most damaging waves ever recorded occurred on August 26, 1883, following the explosion and rupture of the Krakatoa (Krakatau) basin in Indonesia. This explosion created waves reaching 135 feet, leveling coastal towns and along the Sunda Strait on the islands of Java and Sumatra, killing 36,417 people.
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Tsunamis caused by extraterrestrial impacts (e.g., space rocks, meteorites) are an incredibly rare event. Although no tsunamis caused by meteorites or space rocks have been recorded in history, researchers understand that if these divine bodies hit the sea, it would undoubtedly dislodge a huge volume of water and cause a wave.
- It is believed that by 2030 around 50% of the world’s population will live in coastal areas.
- The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami claimed 227,000 lives in some 14 countries.
- In the last 10 decades, 58 tsunamis have occurred.
- Approximately, each tsunami claimed 4,600 lives.
- About 10% of global economic losses are due to tsunamis over the past 20 years.
- 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and islands.
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