4-Year-Old Washed Away in Tsunami Reunited With Parents 10 Years Later​

This is an incredible story and one that goes to show you should never give up hope. When the Indian Ocean was rocked by a tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, Indonesia's province of Aceh was one of the hardest hit areas. The tsunami killed 230,000 people in 14 countries. In Aceh, two children were swept away from their parents after the family desperately clung to a floating plank of wood. Ten years later, one of those children, a girl named Raudhatul Jannah, seems to have been found alive -- and is reunited with her parents!

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Raudhatul Jannah, who was 4 when the tsunami hit their town, and her 7-year-old brother, Arif Pratama Rangkuti, were clinging to their parents, when the two were pulled away by the raging waters. The family looked for them for a month but eventually assumed that the children were dead, as were so many others. It seemed especially impossible that a 4-year-old could have survived.

But in June, the children's uncle was visiting another village when he happened to notice a 14-year-old girl who looked uncannily like his long-lost niece.

He began making inquiries and found that the girl had also been swept away by the tsunami and found by a local fisherman and raised by his mother. She called the girl Wenni.

Praying this was her daughter, Raudhatul Jannah's mom, Jamaliah, and her husband went to the village and were stunned to see that the girl was indeed her daughter. Or so she believed.

The parents say they recognize the girl from her "distinct" facial features. The mom also says she is prepared to take a DNA test.

As amazing and miraculous as this story is, it's still a bit suspect in my book. Ten years is a long time, and many people do look alike. But apparently Raudhatul Jannah has been returned to what is considered her rightful family.

Jamaliah says that she knows the child is hers because of "mother's instinct," but she wouldn't be the first mom to be wrong about this kind of thing.

Still, since the girl's family gave her back to Jamaliah and her husband, they must believe it too. Certainly hope it's true.

Do you think it's the girl?

 

Image via Official US Navy Page/Flickr

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