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World Tsunami Awareness Day

“The giant wave of water can lead to the greatest of a deluge. Know it, fear it and fight it on this world tsunami day.”

The term “tsunami” is a borrowing from the Japanese words “tsu” (meaning harbour) and “nami” (meaning wave). A tsunami is a series of giant ocean waves caused by underwater landslides or volcanic eruptions, that sends surges of water onto land and when they crash ashore, these walls of water can cause widespread destruction. How does a tsunami wave occur? When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly, it displaces the water above it and this launches the rolling waves that become a tsunami.

As a tsunami is usually composed of a series of waves, its destructive force can be compounded when successive waves reach the shore. People experiencing a tsunami should remember that the danger will not cease with the first wave and should await the official statement saying that it is safe to go back to vulnerable locations.

In December 2015, all countries, international bodies as well as civil societies were called upon by the UN General Assembly to designate the 5th of November as World Tsunami Awareness Day. The prime intentions behind this were to raise awareness about tsunami and share innovative approaches to reduce risks. The observance of this day would help spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of the tsunami and the importance of early warning systems to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard. It also aims at reviving traditional knowledge about tsunamis.

As we learn in science that water takes the shape of a container, this exactly happens when a tsunami strikes big cities; it just fills them up, leaving people with no time to react. Thereby, it is necessary to keep track of the warnings and take action at the earliest to save oneself and all. Even though tsunamis are rare, they can be deadly. Hence it needs to be explained to the world that they can stay aware of these conditions. Apart from that, keep in mind that all the dirtying we humans do in the sea comes back to us in the form of monstrous tsunami waves. Fear tsunami because it takes everything away from us, and we cannot do anything but merely sit and stare at the abyss!

-Rtr. Minduli Perera-

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