MEULABOH, Indonesia -- An eight-year-old girl who was swept away in the Indian Ocean tsunami has been found alive -- almost seven years to the day the giant wave hit her Indonesian village, Antara news agency reported Thursday.
The 15-year-old, known as Wati, was feared dead after she was separated from her mother and two siblings when the devastating tsunami engulfed Ujong Baroh, in West Aceh, the day after Christmas in 2004.
But the girl showed up in the nearby city of Meulaboh on Wednesday and told staff at the Simpang Pelor cafe that she was trying to get home.
Wati could remember only one relative's name, her grandfather Ibrahim.
She was taken to his house, where she was quickly identified as his missing granddaughter.
He sent for the girl's mother Yusniar and father Yusuf, who recognized their daughter from a small scar above her eyebrow that she got when she was six years old.
The agency reported that the girl was mistaken for a beggar when she first appeared in the cafe -- and said that the events of her seven-year ordeal were not disclosed to the media.
It is thought she had wandered all over the Aceh district.