The following is the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Tsunami Awareness Day, observed on 5 November:
On World Tsunami Awareness Day, we call on countries, international bodies, and civil society to increase understanding about the threat and share innovative approaches to reduce 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 United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
However, the risks remain immense. Rising sea levels caused by the climate emergency will further exacerbate the destructive power of tsunamis. We must limit warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial averages and invest at scale in the resilience of coastal communities.
Science and international cooperation — as well as preparedness and early action — must be at the heart of our efforts to save lives from tsunamis and other hazards. Boosting support to developing countries and improving detection and early warning is critical.
In the face of increasing complex global crises, we need to be better prepared. Let us work to reduce tsunami risk, deliver on the Sendai Framework, and together build resilience against all disasters.