Tsunami Victim is Reunited With Family After 7 Years

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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A teen-aged Indonesian girl has been re-united with her parents seven years after being separated in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and given up for dead.

Meri Yulanda, now 15 and known as Wati, turned up in the West Aceh capital of Meulaboh this week looking for her family. But she was unable to remember any details of her past except the first name of her grandfather, Ibrahim.

A man by that name then summoned the girl's mother, who confirmed the girl's identity by birthmarks and a mole. The emotional reunion came almost exactly seven years after the massive December 26 tsunami, which killed almost a quarter-million people across the Indian Ocean region.

Wati said that after being separated from her parents, she was taken in by a widow who forced her to beg in the streets, sometimes late into the night.

She said the woman threw her out into the streets when she was no longer able to bring in enough money. It was at that point that she made her way to Meulaboh in search of her family.