Girl Swept Away in Tsunami Reunites with Parents 10 Years Later

Indonesian Girl Reunites with Family 10 Years After Tsunami
Marina beach in Madras (2004)
AFP/Getty

08/07/2014 03:00PM

Raudhatul Jannah was just four years old when she and her brother slipped out of their parents' grasp in Indonesia's Aceh province during 2004's devastating Indian Ocean tsunami.

After searching for a month, her family gave her up for dead – until this past June, when the girl's uncle spotted a young teen who looked just like Raudhatul, according to News.com.au.

The family confirmed the girl was indeed the missing Raudhatul – and had been in the care of an elderly woman in the nearby Aceh Barat Daya district for the past decade.

The family emotionally reunited with the now 14-year-old on Wednesday.



"My husband and I are very happy we have found her," the girl's mother, Jamaliah, told the Australian news site by phone. "This is a miracle from God."

Raudhatul told her parents she believes her brother likely survived the tsunami as well. The two were stranded on Banyak Island after they were separated from their parents on the day after Christmas in 2004, according to Jamaliah.

“We will look for him on Banyak Island, because we believe he is still alive,” she said.

The Banyak Islands are a small group of sparsely-inhabited islands off the coast of the Aceh province in Indonesia.

Raudhatul is not the first girl to be found alive years after the disaster. In 2011, Meri Yuranda was reunited with her mother at a café in Meulaboh, Indonesia, after being forced to work as a beggar for years.

The 2004 tsunami killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries.

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