Girl Missing Since 2004 Tsunami Turns Up Alive In Indonesia


Every year around this time there are dozens of news stories on various "Christmas miracles," but now something so amazing has happened that it will make every other miracle this season pale in comparison: an 8-year-old girl named Wati who was swept away by the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia has just turned up alive! She disappeared after she got separated from her mom and two siblings as the tsunami hit Ujong Baroh, in West Aceh:

Her mother, Yusniar, was trying to take her and her two siblings to a safe place but somehow she lost her grip on her mother's arm and was carried away by the rushing waters, leaving her mother powerless to help her.

And, according to Antara News, everyone assumed she had died, since no trace could be found of her. Until Wednesday, when the now 15-year-old appeared in a nearby city and explained to the staff at a cafe that she was trying to find her way home.

The staff initially thought she was a beggar, but they took her to the home of the one relative whose name she could remember, her grandfather Ibrahim, and he confirmed it was really her. He then sent for her mother and father, who you can only assume must have been out of their minds with happiness and relief. She'd grown so much that it must have been hard to recognize her, but they say they knew it was her because of a mole and a scar above her eyebrow that she's had since she was six.

The devastating event occurred on December 26, 2004, meaning she's returned home almost seven years to the day from when she disappeared. No details of what she's been doing in that time have been released, except it was said that "over the years she had been to places in other districts in Aceh province." It will be fascinating to learn where exactly her journey took her, but for now, welcome home, Wati!

Girl Swept Away In Indian Ocean Tsunami Shows Up 7 Years Later [NY Post]
After Missing For Seven Years, Tsunami Victim Finds Way Home [Antara News]