What is a tsunami? It is a large wave caused because of an earthquake inside the sea. In this lesson, we are going to see some stories of the people who got affected by tsunami on \(26th\) December \(2004\) which hit Thailand, Andaman-Nicobar islands and some parts of Tamil Nadu.
Some of the stories in this lesson suggest that animals can suspect natural disasters like tsunami, earthquakes etc.

The story is from the Andaman and Nicobar islands. In Katchall, there lived a man named Ignesious. He was a manager in a cooperative society. One day his wife woke him up at around \(6\):\(00\) a.m and said that she felt an earthquake. Ignesious took his TV from the table and put it on the ground as he didn't want the Television to fall and break. After that, the entire family went out of the house.

When the tremors stopped, they saw the sea was rising very high. All of them got scared, and his two children caught hold of their mother's father and mother's uncle. They all started running in the opposite direction of the sea, and the most unfortunate thing is he never saw them again. Even his wife was swept away in the sea. Only three children who were holding Ignesious were saved.

Next is about Sanjeev a policeman working in the same Kutchall islands. He somehow managed to save himself and his family from the waves. His family consisted of his wife and baby daughter, but he heard the cries of some lady who was the wife of John, the guesthouse cook. Sanjeev jumped to save that lady and got swept away along with her.

Meghna, a \(13\)-year old girl along with her parents and seventy-seven other people, got swept away into the waves. Meghna was holding a wooden door for two days, floating in the sea. She saw the rescue helicopters eleven times over her head, but they could not see her. Finally, the waves brought her to the shore, and she was walking in an emotional and physical shock.
Almas Javed was a ten-year-old girl studying in Carmel convent school situated in Port Blair. Her father had a petrol pump there. Her entire family had gone to celebrate Christmas at their mothers home located in Noncowry island.

Initially, when the tremors came, everyone was in a deep sleep. But Almas's father saw the water going back, realising that it would come back with great force. He woke everyone up and tried to take them to a safer place. While they all were running, her grandfather was hit by something hard, and he fell. Almas's father went to help him, but both were washed away by the first wave. Almas's mother and aunts were holding to a leaf of a coconut tree, but a big wave uprooted the tree, and even they were swept away. Almas fell on a piece of wood that was floating and fainted on it. When she got up, she was in a hospital at Kamorta. Later, she was brought to Port Blair. She is still traumatized about that incident and does not want to talk to anyone about it.
There was a British schoolgirl named Tilly Smith. She saved many people in when the tsunami struck Phuket beach in Thailand. Though she received many awards, her parents did not allow anyone to interview her or make her heroic. They took this decision for some reason.
The story says it all, from Thailand-

The entire family of Smith was celebrating Christmas in a resort near the beach in southern Thailand. Tilly Smith was just ten years old, and her sister was seven years old. Her parents were Penny Smith (mother) and Colin Smith (father).
On \(26th\) December \(2004\), there was an enormous wave because of the massive earthquake in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Penny Smith said that she remembered that the water is increasing and moving backwards, and the beach was looking smaller. Penny Smith could not understand what was happening. Tilly's intuitions were telling her that something was wrong. She could remember the geography lesson which her teacher had taught her in her place, England. It was just two weeks after that lesson when the Smith family flew to Thailand for a holiday.
Tilly saw everything. The sea first rose and then formed foam, bubble, and finally, she saw whirlpools. Tilly remembered the video shown to her in her school about the tsunami which struck the Hawaiian islands in \(1946\). She knew from her lesson that a tsunami could occur due to earthquakes, volcanoes, or even landslides. Once Tilly understood everything, Tilly screamed like a hysterical girl. She asked her family to get off the beach. Her mother said that Tilly was talking about the earthquake inside the sea and that she was terrified. Her mother didn't know what a tsunami was, but she could make out from Tilly's trembling that something was seriously wrong.

Tilly's parents took their family to the resort's swimming pool, and many people followed them. When they looked behind, they could see the huge wave coming, and Tilly asked everyone to run. The Smith family went to the third floor of the hotel where they were staying. Luckily, nothing happened to the hotel when three huge waves struck.
The family got saved, otherwise even they would have been washed away. Later Smith's family met other tourist families who had lost their near and dear ones. Tilly was thankful for her geography lessons, or she would have never realized the situation. Tilly later told her horrific story to her schoolmates in England.
On \(26th\) December \(2004\), India and Srilanka also got affected by the tsunami, but before the tsunami struck, animals, both domestic and wild, went to safety. Many people say that the elephants trumpeted and ran to a bit higher ground, Dogs did not go out, Flamingoes left the areas which were low lying for breeding, all the zoo animals went into their shelter and they did not come out at all.

Most of the people believe that animals have a sixth sense and can predict natural disasters. Few say that animals possess additional hearing capabilities, which help them realise the vibrations of the earth shake. They can effortlessly notify the disaster, unlike human beings, long before it strikes. We are not very sure whether the animals had a sixth sense or not, but during the tsunami in the Indian ocean, more than \(150000\) casualties were reported in around twelve countries, but only a few animals were reported dead.
In India, Tamilnadu along the Cuddalore coast many people died, but buffaloes, goats, and dogs were reported unharmed. The Yala National Park in Srilanka had many animals, including leopards, elephants, and \(130\) species of birds. Sixty visitors got swept away from Patangala beach inside the park, but only two water buffaloes were found dead. Almost an hour before the tsunami struck at the Yala National Park people saw three elephants had run away from Patangala beach.
A Srilankan resident who stayed near Galle beach said that his two dogs did not budge to go for a daily walk on the beach that day. On that particular day, they saved his life by not venturing out on the beach.
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