Girl, 10, saved hundreds of lives
From correspondents in London
A 10-year-old British schoolgirl saved the lives of hundreds of people in southern Asia by warning them a wall of water was about to strike, after learning about tsunamis in geography class, British media reported today.
Tilly, who has been renamed the "angel of the beach" by the top-selling tabloid The Sun, was holidaying with her family on the Thai island of Phuket when she suddenly grasped what was taking place and alerted her mother.
"Last term Mr Kearney taught us about earthquakes and how they can cause tsunamis," Tilly was quoted as saying by The Sun.
"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."
Her intuition was enough to raise the alert and prompt the evacuation of Phuket's Maikhao beach and a neighbouring hotel before the water came crashing in, saving hundreds of people from death and injury.
According to The Sun, no-one on Maikhao beach was seriously hurt by the tsunamis that have left more than 125,000 dead and millions homeless around the shores of the Indian Ocean. The girl's geography teacher, Andrew Kearney, told the paper he had explained to his class that there was about 10 minutes from the moment the ocean draws out before the tsunami strikes.