Wednesday 17 January 2018

Girl swept away in 2004 tsunami 'reunited with parents'

Raudhatul was just four-years-old when the 2004 tsunami hit

Heather Saul

The parents of an Indonesian girl feared dead after she was swept away by the devastating 2004 tsunami say they have been reunited with their daughter, almost ten years after she vanished.

Raudhatul Jannah was just four-years-old when the Boxing Day tsunami hit swathes of Indonesia and countries in Southeast Asia, taking the lives of some 227, 900 people. 

The tsunami was triggered by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1, of which the Aceh province was closest to the epicentre.

Raudhatul and her brother were swept away when huge waves hit their family home in Aceh, Sky News reports. The entire family tried clinging to a piece of wood but her daughter and son slipped into the waters.

Jamaliah then spent a month searching for their children but to no avail, leading her to assume they had both died in the disaster. The family home was destroyed in the disaster and they relocated soon after.

However, in June her brother claimed to have seen a girl bearing a striking resemblance to her long-lost daughter, who was being cared for by a woman in a nearby district.

He discovered the girl had been swept from Aceh in the tsunami to Banyak Island and rescued by a fisherman, who placed her in the care of his mother.

Jamaliah then visited the girl in inland town of Blangpidie in the Aceh Barat Daya district in late June and found she was their daughter.

“My husband and I are very happy we have found her,” Jamaliah was quoted as saying, describing find her daughter as “a miracle from God”.

She said she had “no doubt” the girl is her daughter but would take DNA tests to prove this, News Corp Australia reports. The family say they will now resume the search for Raudhatul's brother on Banyak Island in the hope he may too still be alive.

Independent News Service

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