Family Finds Girl Lost in Tsunami 10 Years Ago

A chance discovery by the girl's uncle leads to reunion
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2014 12:25 PM CDT
Family Finds Girl Lost in Tsunami 10 Years Ago
Acehnese women pray for the victims of 2004's Indian Ocean tsunami during a prayer session commemorating the ninth anniversary of the disaster.   (AP Photo/Heri Juanda)

More than 10 years after a tsunami swept her away from her parents, Raudhatul Jannah is back in their arms again. Raudhatul was only 4 when her home in Indonesia was destroyed by a 2004 tsunami that killed some 230,000. After the tsunami struck, her father put her and her 7-year-old brother onto a board in the water, but then a "wave hit and I lost them," he recounts to DPA. "We looked for them among ... piles of bodies, but we didn't find them," he says. "After one month we resigned ourselves to the thought that they had probably died."

Raudhatul, however, was very much alive. A fisherman found her washed ashore on a remote island, then took her back to the mainland, where he and his mother raised her, reports AFP. That is, until her uncle spotted her in June, was struck by the resemblance to his niece, and unraveled her true identity. "I'm happy to back with my mother and father again," Raudhatul says. "This is a miracle from God," her mother adds, and "if anyone is in doubt, I'm ready for DNA tests." It's not clear what happened to Raudhatul's brother, but the parents plan to investigate reports that he, too, survived and is living on a local island. (Click to read about a brother and sister meeting for the first time in 57 years.)

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