Indonesian Girl Swept Away By 2004 Tsunami Reunited With Parents After 10 Years

An Indonesian couple has claimed to have found their daughter who got swept away by the 2004 tsunami, describing it as a “miracle from god”, and now also hope to recover their son.

Raudhatul Jannah, now aged 14, was given up for dead when the tsunami hit the family home in Aceh, carrying her and her seven-year-old brother out to sea.

Their 42-year-old mother, who like many Indonesians only uses one name, and her husband, Septi Rangkuti, 52, managed to escape the tsunami on a wooden board with their two youngest children.

Jannah and her older brother, Arif Pratama Rangkuti, did not make it and, after the family spent a month searching for them when the flood waters receded, they were eventually given up for dead.

The parents accepted their two oldest children were among the 227,000 people killed in the Boxing Day tsunami, which was triggered by a magnitude 9.0 magnitude Indian Ocean earthquake, and later moved house with their one surviving son.

However, in June, Jannah’s uncle spotted a girl in a village walking home from school who bore a striking resemblance to the missing girl.

He asked around and discovered the girl had been caught up in the tsunami and was swept from Aceh to some remote islands southwest of the province. Jamaliah and Rangkuti visited the girl in late June and discovered it was indeed their daughter.

“God has given us a miracle,” said Jamaliah, the child’s mother. “When I saw her, my heart was beating really fast.

“I hugged her and she hugged me back and felt so comfortable in my arms,” she told the AFP news agency, adding that she could not stop the “tears from flowing” during the emotional reunion.

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