Girl Reportedly Swept Away In Indonesian Tsunami Returns Home Alive After 7 Years

An Indonesian girl swept out to sea during tsunami in 2004 and long feared dead, has reunited with her parents seven years later.

The tsunami in 2004 has damaged thousand of buildings and houses in Aceh, Indonesia. Photo: Fred SG/Flickr

Wati, now 15, was eight years old when her village of Ujong Baroh in Aceh province was attacked by the tsunami, according to Indonesia’s Antara news agency.

Her mother, Yusniar, was taking her two siblings to a safe place, when Wati was carried away by the water.

Yusniar managed to save her two other children, but Wati was supposed to be lost because nobody in the nearby saw her again.

On Wednesday, Wati’s grandfather Ibrahim was visited by an acquaintance accompanied by a teenage girl.

The man revealed the girl showed up at a cafe in the city of Meulaboh in Aceh province, looking for her parents.

She said that “she had come [there] by bus from Banda Aceh and was trying to find her way back home but did not know how. She also could not remember any of her parents’ or relatives’ names except Ibrahim,” according to Antara.

Her grandfather immediately called her parents, Yusniar and Yusuf, who confirmed that the dark-skinned Wati was their daughter.

“The birthmarks on her belly, and a mole and scar on her face proved that the little girl was mine,” said her mother. “I cannot tell you how grateful I am,” she added.

However, it is still unknown what had happened to girl after she was carried away by the tsunami, or where she has been for the past seven years.

Seven years ago, about 230,000 people died after an earthquake cause a damaging tsunami that devastated South Asian coasts from Indonesia to Thailand, Shri Lanka and India.

The disaster had released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, according to surveys.

Giant forces hidden in the Earth for hundreds of years were suddenly released on December 26, shaking the ground violently and unleashing a series of killer waves that sped across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jet airliner.

By the end of the day about 150,000 people were dead or lost and millions became homeless in 11 countries, making it perhaps the most destructive tsunami in history. After all the victims of the disaster were counted, the total number of dead consisted 283,000 people.

Besides, the tsunami caused the risk of famine and epidemic diseases such as bodies rotting in the tropical heat contaminated food and water sources.

9.0 magnitudes were fixed in the epicenter of the earthquake under the Indian Ocean near the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

“This may be the worst natural disaster in recent history,” said UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Jan Egeland.

According to CNN, the three stronger quakes: May 22, 1960, in Chile (9.5); the 1964 quake (9.2); and a March 9, 1957, quake on Andreanof Island, Alaska (9.1). All three of those quakes, along with the Kamchatka quake, created tsunamis.

The deadliest earthquake ever observed took place on January 23, 1556, in Shansi, China, having killed 830,000 people.

One of the most powerful earthquakes occurred on August 27, 1883, when the volcano Krakatau erupted. The resulting wave swept over the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, ultimately killing 36,000 people.

One more dangerous tidal swept Bangladesh in 1991, killing nearly 140,000 people. [Via The Telegraph]

Share this article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.