Indonesian Family Reunites with Daughter Swept Away in 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

by Owen James Burke

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Raudhatul Jannah was four years old when waves struck her home and swept her and her 7-year-old brother out to sea during the December 26th, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which left tens of thousands dead in the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Nearly 10 years later, she’s been found.

Her parents both survived the disaster, and laid to rest any hope that either of the two children would be found.

Jannah’s uncle spotted a girl in a village walking home from school who, somehow after 10 years, still struck him as his niece. He inquired, and sure enough, found that she had indeed been picked up by a fisherman after being swept away to a remote set of islands southwest of Aceh. The fisherman brought the girl back to the mainland of Sumatra, where his mother has been raising her for the past decade.

When her mother, Jamaliah, 42, received the information from Jannah’s uncle that he’d seen her, she and her husband hurried to the village.

“My heart beat so fast when I saw her. I hugged her and she hugged me back and felt so comfortable in my arms,” she told the AFP.

Jannah, who was being called Wenni by the woman who raised her, returned home to her birthparents this past Wednesday.

The family believes that her brother, Arif Pratama Rangkuti, also survived, but his whereabouts are still unknown.

The tsunami, which occurred on Boxing Day in 2004, left nearly 280,000 dead and missing.

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Read more at the Daily Mail — OB

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