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10-Year-Old Saves Hundreds from Tsunami

January 3, 2005

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A 10-year-old girl from the United Kingdom applied her geography lessons to a real-world situation and saved hundreds of lives in the process.

Tilly, on vacation with her family in Phuket, Thailand, noticed that the water offshore the Maikhao beach where the family was playing was doing strange things, things that her geography teacher had told her were precursors to tsunamis.

In a story in the British newspaper The Sun, Tilly is quoted as saying, ""I was on the beach and the water started to go funny. There were bubbles and the tide went out all of a sudden. I recognised what was happening and had a feeling there was going to be a tsunami. I told mummy."

Tilly explained that her geography teacher, Andrew Kearney, told his students that the tide's suddenly going out meant that a tsunami was approaching and that the window of opportunity for escape was about 10 minutes.

On the day of devastation, the "angel of the beach," as The Sun is calling her, alerted her mother in terms not to be mistaken, and the family helped hundreds of other people on the Maikhao beach get to safety.

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