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Responding to the United Nations designation of the International Decade for Natural Hazard Reduction, the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO) meeting in August in Acapulco, Mexico, established a Commission on Natural Marine Hazards.

Natural and man-made hazards such as tropical cyclones, floods, storm surges, tsunamis, severe waves, red tides, earthquakes, environmental pollution, volcanic eruptions, and chemical pollutions present challenges around the world and know no national or international boundaries. Such hazards therefore present challenges and life-threatening problems to all the people of the world. Unless conscious and dedicated efforts by all nations are developed and implemented, the lives, and the quality of those lives, of all people on Earth are seriously and irreparably threatened.