The United Nations General Assembly established November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day in December 2015.

Let’s take steps to prepare for tsunami based on correct understanding.

In order to boost awareness of the risks of tsunami and strengthen tsunami countermeasure throughout the world, the United Nations established November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day at its General Assembly in December 2015 following a joint proposal made by 142 countries including Japan. This heralded the start of new initiatives in the field of tsunami countermeasures.

The world has experienced the devastation of tsunamis on numerous occasions in the past.

As demonstrated by tsunami disasters such as in Chile in 1960, the Philippines in 1976, Papua New Guinea in 1998, Turkey in 1999, Peru in 2001, the countries around the Indian Ocean in 2004, Samoa and Tonga in 2009, and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, tsunamis have wreaked havoc all over the world and are a common cause for concern in many nations.

TSUNAMI disasters spread all over the World

Tsunami Sources

1610 B.C. to A.D. 2014 from Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Landslides, and Other Causes

  • A

    2011 East Japan

    more than 18,000 deaths and missing

  • B

    2004 Indian Ocean

    more than 227,000 deaths

  • C

    1896 Sanriku, Japan

    27,000 deaths

  • D

    1883 Krakatoa, Indonesia

    34,000 deaths

  • E

    1868 Northern Chile

    25,000 deaths

  • F

    1755 Lisbon earthquake, Portugal

    50,000 deaths

Most destructive tsunamis causing 15,000 or more deaths since 1700

The Town Submerged in Water after Tsunami
(2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami)

Tsunami Sweeping Toward the Coastal City
(2011 East Japan Tsunami, Miyako City)

Enactment of Tsunami Preparedness Day in Japan in 2011

In 2011, the year of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami Preparedness Day was enacted based on law, and training exercises and education initiatives were launched throughout the country in order to raise public interest and understanding of tsunami countermeasures.
November 5 is the day when, in 1854, a massive tsunami triggered by the Ansei Nankai earthquake (magnitude 8.4) struck the Kii Peninsula. On this day it is said that lives were saved when a country samurai living in a village in Wakayama Prefecture torched piled sheaves (Inamura)of newly harvested rice in order to warn people who had not yet evacuated and guide them to high ground in the darkness. In Japan, Tsunami Preparedness Day was enacted to coincide with this story of “The fire of ‘Inamura (Rice Sheaves)’”.