Monday, December 26, 2011

Tsunami Survivor Returns Home after 7 Years


The fatal tsunami that thumped Aceh in 2004 has left stories to be told. One of them is about a young girl named Wati who finally made her way home after seven years of living far from her family.

When the tsunami hit Aceh on December 26, 2004, Wati was only 8 years old. Her mother, Yusniar, fled in panic as the massive walls of water bashed their village in Ujong Baroh. Yusniar got hold of her three children, including Wati, and immediately run for their lives to higher grounds.

However, Wati came off her mother’s grip and Yusniar accepted the fact that she had lost her daughter.

Last Wednesday, December 21, Wati, now a teenager with slightly dark complexion, returned to her home town, exactly seven years after she disappeared. A friend of her grandfather, Ibrahim, took Wati home to her parents’ house in Meulaboh, as quoted from The Telegraph.

He then called Wati’s parents, Yusniar and Yusuf. Their reunion was filled with tears of happiness after years of separation. Yusniar and Yusuf recognized their daughter from the birthmark and small scar on her elbow.

Wati, now aged 15, was found sitting down at a coffee shop. When asked, she confessed that she just arrived from Banda Aceh and was trying to return home, but didn’t know how. She only remembered her grandfather’s name, Ibrahim.

Nothing is known about Wati’s whereabouts for the past seven years. The tsunami hit Aceh and killed 230 thousand people. Another 168 thousand were declared missing.

• VIVAnews

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