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Clinton praises Tilly the heroine

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Clinton praises Tilly the heroine | Thaiger

NEW YORK: The 10-year-old British schoolgirl whose prompt action saved an estimated 100 lives on Phuket last December 26 has been praised by former US President Bill Clinton.

Tilly Smith was welcomed at UN headquarters in New York on November 3 by staff of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, a Geneva-based UN agency that is trying to educate people worldwide on proper disaster response.

She met Mr Clinton, who is now the United Nations envoy for the tsunami recovery, who said, “Tilly’s story is a simple reminder that education can make a difference between life and death. All children should be taught disaster reduction so they know what to do when natural hazards strike.”

Tilly was walking with her family on Mai Khao Beach near the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa when she recognized signs of the approaching tsunami. Just two weeks previously, she had learned about tsunamis during a geography class in school.

“I saw this bubbling on the water, right on the edge, and foam sizzling just like in a frying pan,” she said. “The water was coming in, but it wasn’t going out again. It was coming in, and then in, and then in, towards the hotel.”

She knew from her lessons that a tsunami was only minutes away, and convinced her parents to warn hotel staff who managed to clear the area just in time. About 100 people had been on the beach, and all survived.

 

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