World Tsunami Awareness Day is observed annually across the globe on 5 November. Dr Angela Hibbert, Head of Sea Level and Ocean Climate at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) explains the origins of this important day.
“World Tsunami Awareness Day has been observed annually since 2015, when the UN General Assembly called for international co-operation to raise awareness and improve resilience to tsunami threats globally. The theme of World Tsunami Awareness Day in 2021 is to promote one of the seven targets (target) of the Sendai Framework, which is to 'substantially enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of the present Framework by 2030’.
“The aim is to support and sustain the development of early warning systems and to ensure that all communities that are considered to be at-risk have achieved a suitable state of preparedness and are “tsunami ready” by 2030. For us to make meaningful progress towards this, there is a need to continuously develop and improve the tsunami detection and forecasting systems – all relevant governments and institutions need to play an active role to make a step closer towards community tsunami readiness.
“For some time now, the NOC has worked with the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions to improve tsunami monitoring systems. Most recently, this has allowed us to support the government of Saint Lucia to install three tide gauges to improve detection and forecasting of tsunamis and storm surges regionally. Aside to the importance of international tsunami warning systems, the NOC has also installed two tsunami capable tide gauges at Newlyn in Cornwall and Sheerness in Kent, with a third to follow in Liverpool – significantly enhancing UK monitoring capabilities.”