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Girl dragged away by tsunami finds her way back home - seven years later

An Indonesian girl who was carried away by violent flooding in 2004 has made her way back to her home village – alone – to be reunited with her family.

Tsunami-stricken areas near the coastal outskirts of Banda Aceh, 2004
Tsunami-stricken areas near the coastal outskirts of Banda Aceh, 2004
Image: ENWAER/AP/Press Association Images

A GIRL WHO was dragged away by the tsunami that hit the Indonesian coast in 2004 has managed to make her way back home to be reunited with her family.

Wati was eight years old when the waters hit the tiny village of Ujong Baroh village, West Aceh, where she lived. Her mother, Yusniar, grabbed Wati and her two siblings and tried to get them to safety but, tragically, the little girl lost her grip and was carried away in the current, reports Antara News.

Yusniar managed to save her other two children but eventually resigned herself to the probability that Wati had been lost forever.

But on Wednesday, Wati’s grandfather Ibrahim was visited by an acquaintance who was accompanied by a teenage girl. Ibrahim listened as the man explained how the 15-year-old had arrived in a nearby coffee shop, where she had sat alone in silence.

She was presumed to be a beggar at first but, after staff began to engage with her, she explained that she was trying to find her way back home, the Mirror reports. She said she could not remember any of her family’s names except for one – Ibrahim.

Convinced that the girl could be his long-lost granddaughter, Ibrahim called for Yusniar and her husband Yusuf to come to the house to meet the girl. They confirmed that teenager was their daughter, last seen when she was just eight, by identifying a small mole and a scar above her eyebrow that she got when she was six.

Reporters were not told what happened to Wati during her missing years, but it is believed that she had been to other areas in Aceh province.

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