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Wati, Indonesian Girl Lost In 2004 Tsunami, Reportedly Returns Home Alive

Aceh Tsunami Wati

First Posted: 12/22/11 10:36 AM ET Updated: 12/22/11 08:53 PM ET

For nearly seven years, Wati's parents believed their daughter had died when a tsunami hit Indonesia's Aceh in December 2004. Yet on Wednesday, the 15-year-old returned home alive, according to reports by Indonesia's state news agency Antara.

Wati was 8 when the tsunami hit Aceh and she lost grip of her mother's arm, Antara reports. For years, the family believed the girl had drowned in the water. Yet on Wednesday, Wati's grandfather Ibrahim received a visit from an acquaintance who brought a young girl that was looking for her home. The news service writes that the girl was seen in a coffee shop where she sat in silence, and people had thought she was a beggar. She reportedly did not remember her parents' or relatives' names, except for one -- Ibrahim.

According to Antara, Wati's parents were reunited with their daughter and reportedly confirmed the teenage girl was their child after recognizing a mole and a scar.

The tsunami that hit the coast of Aceh on December 26, 2004, was triggered by the world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years. The tsunami hit more than 10 countries. Nearly 170,000 people were killed and almost 130,000 went missing.

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Filed by Eline Gordts  |