UN chief calls for action to reduce tsunami damage

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the international community to help coastal communities and developing nations introduce early detection and warning systems for destructive tsunamis.

Guterres released a statement on Friday to mark World Tsunami Awareness Day. The United Nations designated the day in 2015 at the initiative of Japan, after the country experienced a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The statement says, "Rising sea levels caused by the climate emergency will further exacerbate the destructive power of tsunamis. We must limit warming to 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial averages and invest at scale in the resilience of coastal communities."

It continues, "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."

Guterres also urged countries and international bodies to share innovative approaches and implement the Sendai Framework, which lays out concrete targets to reduce the risk of damage from tsunamis by 2030.