An Indonesian girl who was thought to have been swept out to sea during the devastating tsunami that carved a path of destruction across Southeast Asia seven years has turned up alive and well and reunited with her family, according Indonesian state news agency Antara.
The girl, whose name is Wati, is now 15 years old and had been missing since the Christmas 2004 catastrophe. She had been ripped from her mother’s arms in the town of Ujong Baroh in Aceh province and was presumed to have drowned to death.
The Daily Telegraph of Britain reported that on Wednesday a teenage girl wearing a headscarf was brought to the home of an elderly man named Ibrahim in the town of Meulaboh. Ibrahim is Wati’s grandfather.
Reportedly, Wati was discovered sitting alone in a coffee bar and said she came by bus from Banda Aceh, 260 kilometers from Meulaboh, and was trying to find her way home. She could not recall any of her relatives’ names, except for her grandfather Ibrahim.
The grandfather quickly contacted Wati’s parents, Yusniar and Yususf, who confirmed the teenager girl was indeed their long-lost daughter by the mole and scar on her elbow.
Yusniar and Yusuf have two other children who survived the tsunami.
It is not clear where Wati has been all these years or what she had been doing to survive.
Aceh incurred the heaviest loss of life from the tsunami – of the 230,000 who died, this remote province of Indonesia accounted for 168,000 of the deaths.