BANDA ACEH: An Indonesian couple reunited with their daughter a decade after she was swept away by the 2004 tsunami said Friday they were now hopeful of finding their son, who also went missing in the disaster.
Raudhatul Jannah, then aged four, and her seven-year-old brother were carried away clinging to wooden planks when huge waves struck their home in Aceh province on December 26, 2004.
The children’s mother, Jamaliah, and her husband survived the quake-triggered tsunami that killed tens of thousands in Aceh, on western Sumatra island, and had long ago given up hope of finding their children alive.
But in June, Jamaliah’s brother spotted a girl in an Aceh village walking home from school who bore a striking resemblance to Jannah.
He made inquiries and found out that the girl had been caught up in the tsunami, and was swept from Aceh to remote islands southwest of the province. She was taken back to the mainland by a fisherman, whose elderly mother raised the youngster.
Jannah’s parents, who moved to the neighbouring province of North Sumatra following the tsunami, travelled to Aceh soon afterwards to meet the girl, and firmly believe it is their missing daughter, now aged 14.
Jamaliah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, on Thursday said it was a “miracle” her daughter had been found and described how she could not stop the “tears from flowing” during an emotional reunion.