Indonesian girl swept away by 2004 tsunami reunited with parents after 10 years

Four-year-old Raudhatul Jannah had been given up for dead by her parents after she was swept from her home.

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.

Raudhatul Jannah, now aged 14

Raudhatul Jannah (centre) is embraced by her mother Jamaliah (left) and grandmother (right) after being reunited in Meulaboh, Indonesia 10 years after they were separated.

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.

Raudhatul Jannah (second from right) sits with her family on Wednesday

Raudhatul Jannah (second from right) sits with her family on Wednesday. She was rescued by fishermen after she was separated from her family during the Boxing Day tsunami.

In June, Jamaliah’s brother spotted a girl who bore a resemblance to Jannah walking home from school and made inquiries about her.

He discovered that she had been swept from Aceh in the 2004 tsunami to remote islands southwest of the province.

Jamaliah (left) said she recognised her daughter immediately from her 'characteristic' facial features

Jamaliah (left) said she recognised her daughter immediately from her ‘characteristic’ facial features.

The girl was rescued by a fisherman and brought back to the fisherman’s mother, now an elderly woman, who named the girl Weni and raised her.

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

Jamaliah said she is willing to take a DNA test to prove that Weni is her daughter

Jamaliah said she is willing to take a DNA test to prove that Weni (right), as she is now known, is the daughter who was taken from her in the tsunami waters 10 years.

‘My husband and I are very happy. I am so grateful to God for reuniting us with our child after 10 years of being separated,’ said Jamaliah.

‘My heart beat so fast when I saw her. I hugged her and she hugged me back and felt so comfortable in my arms,’ she said.

Jannah smiles after being reunited with her family

Jannah smiles after being reunited with her family.

Jamaliah also said she could not stop the ‘tears from flowing’ during the reunion.

Jannah is 'cheerful' but does not talk much

According to an Indonesian newspaper, Jannah is ‘cheerful’ but does not talk much and has suffered trauma as a result of the tsunami.

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