Paying attention in geography class pays off

Ten-year-old Tilly Smith was paying attention in geography class when her teacher explained that an earthquake can cause a tsunami. As a result, Tilly and her family, and dozens of other on the beach at their Thai resort, survived the massive tidal wave. Jim Miller links to the story:

Tilly’s family, from Surrey, England, was enjoying a day at Maikhao Beach last Sunday when the sea rushed out and began to bubble.

The adults were curious, but Tilly froze in horror.

“Mummy, we must get off the beach now!” she told her mother. “I think there’s going to be a tsunami.”

The adults didn’t understand until Tilly added the magic words: “A tidal wave.”

Her warning spread like wildfire. Within seconds, the beach was deserted — and it turned out to be one of the only places along the shores of Phuket where no one was killed or seriously injured.

. .. “When the water went back, I was like most people on the beach. I wanted to walk down and look at what was going on,” she recalled. “It was only when Tilly explained what she thought was going to happen that I had second thoughts.

“We ran off the beach as fast as we could and went to the first floor of the hotel where it would be safe. Minutes later the water surged right over the beach and demolished everything in its path.

Tilly didn’t just have the knowledge; she had the moxie to make her parents listen to her warning.

You can donate to help tsunami victims through Amazon, or American Jewish World Service, or many other organizations.

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  1. Cool. Just like the little Dutch boy.

  2. Sorry if my last remark came off as flippant. It certainly was not intended that way, but reading it back it looked a bit more inane than my usual remarks. It was just the first thing that came to mind when reading the story about a child who averts disaster by being the first to identify a threat, and then taking the initiative to act where the likely response might have been skepticism or worse.

    So much for using a terse comparison as shorthand for an expressed thought.

  3. I would have thought the Discovery Channel did a better, certainly more relentless, job of describing tsunamis then anything I ever encountered in school.

  4. Magic Tree House #28: High Tide in Hawaii


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