New Delhi

AMCDRR: Special Session for the World Tsunami Awareness Day

Organizer(s) United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Ministry of Home Affairs (India)
Banquet Hall (3rd floor), The Ashok, 50-B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri

Tsunamis are rare. But they can be extremely deadly. In the past 100 years, more than 260,000 people have perished in 58 separate tsunamis. At an average of 4,600 deaths per disaster, the toll has surpassed any other natural hazard. Tsunamis know no borders, making international cooperation key for deeper political and public understanding of risk reduction measures.

The UN General Assembly has designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day and called on countries around the globe to mark it. Each edition of the annual day will be thematic: the focus in 2016 is “Live to Tell” to promote eective education and evacuation drills. The UN General Assembly has tasked the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) with facilitating the observance of World Tsunami Awareness Day in collaboration with the rest of the United Nations System.

Considering the World Tsunami Awareness Day is at the closing day (5th November) of the 7th AMCDRR, it is opportune to have a Special Session dedicated to the tsunami DRR within the 7th AMCDRR, together with the commemoration of the World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5th November at the Closing Ceremony of the 7th AMCDRR.


This session, on Saturday 5th November, will:

  • connect the link between Disaster Risk Reduction community and Tsunami & Early Warning community;
  • share experiences on tsunami disasters, preparedness, risk reduction and response, and identify lessons learned and good practices through presentations by tsunami experienced/prone countries and experts from
    both DRR and early warning, in particular along with the WTAD theme on “Live to Tell”;
  • assess the current status and critical gaps of tsunami risk reduction, awareness and early warning in Asia;
  • draw recommendations on how to address the identied gaps and challenges and to integrate tsunami risk in national DRR policies and strategies to reduce tsunami mortality.



Commemoration Ceremony of the World Tsunami Awareness Day at Closing Ceremony of the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction.


  • Opening remarks by Ms Kirsi Madi, Director, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)
  • Presentation of short video on World Tsunami Awareness Day
  • Mr Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of Liberal Democratic Party, Member of the House of Representatives, Japan (messages regarding the establishment of the World Tsunami Awareness Day at UN General Assembly)


Panel Discussion 1: "Evacuation Drills and SOPs in India and Seychelles"

Moderator: Mr Tony Elliott, former head of the Secretariat to the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS)

This panel will share and discuss the results and observations from the two evacuation drills conducted in India and Seychelles by Government with support from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and UNISDR.


  • Dr. S. S. C. Shenoi, Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India (to report on the recently conducted tsunami evacuation drill in India in September)
  • Ms Regina Prosper, Division of Risk and Disaster Management, the Government of Seychelles (to report on the recently conducted tsunami evacuation drill conducted in September)
  • Mr Pallava Bagla, Science news correspondent, NDTV, India (to share views from media perspective to the recently conducted tsunami evacuation drills in India as well as media roles for tsunami DRR)
  • Prof. Fumihiko Imamura, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University in Japan (to share initiatives, data, measures to advance tsunami risk reduction as well as technical observations from the Seychelles event)

15:30-15:40 - Break


Panel Discussion 2: "Reducing tsunami mortality - lessons and good practices"

Moderator: Ms Laura Kong, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S Department of Commerce

This panel will discuss and identify lessons and good practices for reducing tsunami mortality by sharing and learning from different experiences.


  • Mr. Thorkild Aarup, Head of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Unit (to share the 10-year progress of Tsunami Early Earning Systems since 2004)
  • Mr. Yukimoto Ito, Vice Mayor of Sendai City, as a tsunami experienced local government representative (to share its tsunami experiences, challenges, and progress in preparedness and DRR measures for future tsunami)

16:30-16:45 - Wrap up of the Panel Discussions by the two moderators

16:45-17:00 - Closing remarks

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