Tilly Smith (born 1994) is a British woman who has been credited with saving the lives of approximately 100 beachgoers at Mai Khao Beach in Thailand by warning them minutes before the arrival of the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.Smith, who was ten years old at the time, had learned about tsunamis in her geography class.
Smith was educated at Danes Hill School, an independent school in the village of Oxshott in Surrey,followed by Stowe School, a boarding independent school in the civil parish of Stowe in Buckinghamshire.
Smith learned about tsunamis in a geography lessontwo weeks before the tsunami from her teacher Andrew Kearney at Danes Hill School in Oxshott, Surrey. She recognised the signs and alerted her parents while walking on the beach. "The water was really, really frothy," Smith said. "It wasn't calm and it wasn't going in and then out. It was just coming in and in and in."
Initially, not seeing any obvious sign of a large wave on the horizon, her parents didn't believe her assertion that a tsunami was coming, but Smith persisted, stating curtly: "I'm going. I'm definitely going. There is definitely going to be a tsunami".Her father, Colin, sensing the urgency in his daughter's voice, heeded Tilly's warning. He managed to convince a security guard that a tsunami was inbound: "'Look, you probably think I'm absolutely bonkers, but my daughter's completely convinced there's gonna be a tsunami."
Tilly Smith recounted that, by coincidence, an English-speaking Japanese man was nearby and heard her mention the Japanese word "tsunami", bolstering her claim by saying: "Yeah, there's been an earthquake in Sumatra; I think your daughter's right." 9-metre (30 ft) tsunami reached the shore, with patrons narrowly avoiding the tsunami by seconds; Tilly's mother, one of the last to seek refuge, said: "I ran, and then I thought I was going to die."The beach was evacuated to the second storey of a nearby hotel before the
Ultimately, Mai Khao Beach was one of the few beaches on the island with no reported fatalities, with only a few minor injuries recorded.Colin added, "It was later when we sort of went through what happened we thought how lucky we were, 'cause if she hadn't told us, we would have just kept on walking," he said. "I'm convinced we would have died, absolutely convinced."
Smith's family declined requests to be interviewed by commercial and national broadcasters in the immediate aftermath, but Smith appeared at the United Nations in November 2005, where she met former President of The United States and the serving U.N. Special Envoy for Tsunami Relief, Bill Clinton,and at the first anniversary in Phuket as part of a campaign to highlight the importance of education; she also appeared in an educational video for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Tilly and her parents later appeared in a segment of the American TV show 20/20.
On 9 September 2005, Smith received the Thomas Gray Special Award of The Marine Society & Sea Cadets from Second Sea Lord, Vice-Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent.
Minor planet 20002 Tillysmith has been named after her.In the press, Smith earned the moniker Angel of the Beach.
In December 2005, Smith was named "Child of the Year" by the French magazine Mon Quotidien (a magazine targeted to young readers).At the official tsunami commemorations on the first anniversary of the tsunami held at Khao Lak, Thailand, on 26 December 2005, she was given the honour of reading a poem to thousands of spectators.
"It wasn't devastation or death that won the day. It was humanity that triumphed, the shining victory of generosity, courage, love."
Smith's story is incorporated into many teaching resources for children about earthquakes, tsunamis and how to stay safe.
A tsunami is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami. Unlike normal ocean waves, which are generated by wind, or tides, which are in turn generated by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun, a tsunami is generated by the displacement of water from a large event.
Petra Němcová is a Czech model, television host, and philanthropist who founded the Happy Hearts Fund. In 2017, the Happy Hearts Fund merged with All Hands Volunteers to create All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response, with Němcová assuming the role of co-founder and vice chair.
On 26 December 2004, at 07:58:53 local time (UTC+7), a major earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1–9.3 Mw struck with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The undersea megathrust earthquake, known by the scientific community as the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake, was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the Indian Plate, and reached a Mercalli intensity up to IX in some areas.
Khao Lak is a series of villages, now tourist-oriented, mainly in the Takua Pa District and partly in the Thai Mueang District of Phang Nga Province, Thailand.
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Malaysia was affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami on 26 December 2004. Despite its proximity to the epicentre of the earthquake, Malaysia escaped the kind of damage that struck countries hundreds of miles further away. Since the epicentre was on the western coast of Sumatra, the island largely protected the country from the worst of the tsunami. The country's worst affected areas were the northern coastal areas and outlying islands like Penang and Langkawi. The simple red flag warning system used by lifeguards on beaches in some resort areas in Penang was credited to reducing the number of fatalities.
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Oxshott is a suburban village in the borough of Elmbridge in Surrey, England. Oxshott includes hilly acidic heath which is partly wooded and occupies the land between the large towns of Esher and Leatherhead. The Oxshott section of the single carriageway north-south A244 runs through its middle and briefly forms its high street, centred two miles from the A3 and the M25.
John Chroston of Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, a biology teacher at Falkirk High School, Scotland, was one of the few tourists present during the Indian Ocean earthquake able to recognize tsunami warning signs and prompt a beach evacuation. Another foreigner who issued an alert was 10-year-old British schoolgirl Tilly Smith at Maikhao Beach. At the island of Simeulue, near the epicenter, and in some villages in Indonesia, villagers who remembered past tsunamis alerted their communities.
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Miki Endo was an employee of the town of Minamisanriku's Crisis Management Department, tasked with broadcasting disaster advisories and warnings.
Tilly Smith tsunami Diacu.
Tilly Smith tsunami.