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Indonesian girl lost in 2004 tsunami reunited with parents a decade later

Raudhatul Jannah.jpg

Raudhatul Jannah, was lost after being swept into the sea during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She was been found alive and living with a foster mother. She was reunited with her biological parents this week. (REUTERS/Junaidi Hanafiah)

An Indonesian girl swept away in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has been reunited with her parents 10 years after she was given up for dead, News.com.au reports.

Raudhatul Jannah was 4 years old when she and her brother were swept away by a tsunami from her home in Indonesia's West Aceh district in Aceh province on Dec. 26, 2004, her mother Jamaliah told the website.

Jamaliah said she and her husband stopped searching after a month, and believed she was dead until Jamaliah’s brother spotted a girl who looked like her long-lost daughter in June.

They later found that the girl had been under the care of an elderly woman in the Aceh Barat Daya district nearby.

The family was reunited on Wednesday.

“My husband and I are very happy we have found her,” Jamaliah said by telephone from Meulaboh, the main town in West Aceh.

“This is a miracle from God.”

Jamaliah said she had no doubt that the girl was her daughter as soon as she saw her.

“If anyone is in doubt, I’m ready for DNA tests,” she said.

Jamaliah said after the tsunami hit her house, Raudhatul and her brother, then seven, slipped from her and her husband’s grasp as they held on to a floating plank of wood.

Raudhatul, now 14, had told her parents that her brother was likely to have survived after the two were stranded on Banyak Island, her mother said.

“We will look for him on Banyak Island because we believe he is still alive,” she said.

The sparsely inhabited island group is around 25 miles off the coast.

The Indian Ocean tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake off Sumatra island, killed 230,000 people in 14 countries, including 170,000 in the Aceh district.