Swept Away By '04 Tsunami, Indonesian Girl Reportedly Finds Way Home | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Swept Away By '04 Tsunami, Indonesian Girl Reportedly Finds Way Home

Seven years ago, an estimated 230,000 people died after an earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that devastated South Asian coasts from Indonesia to Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

Wednesday, one of those who was thought to be dead apparently "found her way back to her home," according to the Indonesian state news agency Antara.

It reports that 15-year-old Wati turned up in a coffee shop near her home in West Aceh — saying 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."

Ibrahim is the name of Wati's grandfather. A friend of his heard the girl's story and brought her to Ibrahim's home.

"After a closer look at the dark-skinned girl, [he] was indeed convinced she was Wati," the news agency says. Her parents then "confirmed Wati's identity after recognizing a small mole and a scar over her eyebrow that Wati got when she was six years old."

As for what happened to her since she was pulled from her mother's arms and carried away by waves on Dec. 26, 2004, the agency says that "was not immediately disclosed to reporters except that over the years she had been to places in other districts in Aceh province."

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