Tilly Smith (a British school girl) was able to save many lives when the tsunami struck Phuket beach in Thailand. Though she has won a number of awards, her parents have not allowed their daughter to be interviewed on television and made into a heroine. Why do you think they took that decision?

Now here is a story from Thailand.

     The Smith family from South-East England were celebrating Christmas at a beach resort in southern Thailand. Tilly Smith was a ten-year-old schoolgirl; her sister was seven years old. Their parents were Penny and Colin Smith.

     It was 26 December 2004. Deadly tsunami waves were already on their way. They had been triggered by a massive earthquake off northern Sumatra earlier that morning.

     “The water was swelling and kept coming in,” Penny Smith remembered. “The beach was getting smaller and smaller. I didn’t know what was happening.”
     But Tilly Smith sensed that something was wrong. Her mind kept going back to a geography lesson she had taken in England just two weeks before she flew out to Thailand with her family.

     Tilly saw the sea slowly rise, and start to foam, bubble and form whirlpools. She remembered that she had seen this in class in a video of a tsunami that had hit the Hawaiian islands in 1946. Her geography teacher had shown her class the video, and told them that tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides.

     Tilly started to scream at her family to get off the beach. “She talked about an earthquake under the sea. She got more and more hysterical,” said her mother Penny. “I didn’t know what a tsunami was. But seeing my daughter so frightened, I thought something serious must be going on.”

     Tilly’s parents took her and her sister away from the beach, to the swimming pool at the hotel. A number of other tourists also left the beach with them. “Then it was as if the entire sea had come out after them. I was screaming, ‘Run!’”

     The family took refuge in the third floor of the hotel. The building withstood the surge of three tsunami waves. If they had stayed on the beach, they would not have been alive.

     The Smiths later met other tourists who had lost entire families. Thanks to Tilly and her geography lesson, they had been forewarned. Tilly went back to her school in England and told her classmates her terrifying tale.
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.
Meanings of difficult words:
WhirlpoolsA quickly rotating mass of water in a sea.
Triggered Activated by an action.
HystericalWildly uncontrolled emotion..
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. The Tsunami (pp. 24-30). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.