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Tsunami victim reaches home after 7 years

UPI News Service, 12/22/2011 

An Indonesian girl is finally home, seven years after being separated from her mother when a deadly tsunami struck her village.

The girl, now 15, was 8 years old when the Indian Ocean tsunami engulfed her Ujong Baroh village in Aceh province in December 2004, Antara news agency reported. Her mother was trying to take her and her two siblings to a safer place when the girl was washed away.

The mother was able to save her other two children, but there was no sign of the girl, named Wati, the report said.

Aceh, on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, took the worst hit from the tsunami, which killed or left missing more than 170,000 people.

Wati's homecoming began Wednesday, when her grandfather Ibrahim in Meulaboh city was visited by his friend and a young girl. The friend told Ibrahim the girl had come to a coffee shop in Meulaboh where she sat in silence, the report said. When others there engaged her in a conversation, the girl said she had come by bus but was trying to find her way back home.

She did not remember the names of any of her relatives except that of Ibrahim, who knew immediately the girl was his long lost granddaughter Wati.

It wasn't clear how Wati managed to survive for seven years except that she had lived in several districts in the interim, the report said. She is back with her parents, who recognized her through a scar above her eyebrow she got when she was 6 years old.

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Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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