United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called on the international community to raise awareness about tsunami threats and share innovative approaches to decreasing risks.
“We can build on progress achieved — ranging from better outreach to tsunami-exposed communities around the world, to the inclusion of a Tsunami Programme in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development,” the UN chief said in a message marking World Tsunami Awareness Day.
Guterres cautioned, however, that the risks “remain immense,” as rising sea levels caused by the climate emergency will further exacerbate the destructive power of tsunamis.
For Guterres, science, international cooperation, preparedness and early action must be at the center of all efforts to keep people and communities safer.
In December 2015, the UN General Assembly designated Nov. 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day, calling on countries, international bodies and civil society to raise awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction.
This year, World Tsunami Awareness Day is promoting the target of the “Sendai Seven Campaign” which aims to substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries.
Tsunamis are rare but extremely deadly events. In the past 100 years, 58 of them have claimed more than 260,000 lives, or an average of 4,600 per disaster, more than any other natural hazard, according to the United Nations.
By the year 2030, an estimated 50 percent of the world’s population would live in coastal areas which are exposed to flooding, storms and tsunamis.