. Earth Science News .

Indonesia girl reunited with family after 2004 tsunami
by Staff Writers
Banda Aceh, Indonesia (AFP) Dec 23, 2011

An Indonesian girl separated from her family during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has been reunited with her relatives after seven years living as a street child, her parents said Friday.

Mary Yuranda, who is now 14, showed up at a cafe in the city of Meulaboh, in the tsunami-battered Aceh province, looking for her parents.

She was reunited with them on Wednesday after a local taxi driver identified her family from details she had provided, ending a seven-year ordeal in which she lived with a widow who forced to beg on the streets.

"When she saw her mother she yelled 'mama' and ran toward her," her father, Tarmius, told AFP by telephone.

"Both of them hugged each other and cried," he said.

Mary's mother, Yusnidar, said her daughter had grown so much that she had not immediately recognised the girl.

"The birth marks on her belly, plus a mole and a scar on her face proved that the little girl was mine," said Yusnidar, 35.

"I cannot tell you how grateful I am," she added.

The parents, who said the girl did not want to speak to reporters and was recovering from frequent beatings by the widow, said Mary separated from them after the family was swept away during the the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

The widow found the lost girl and took her to the provincial capital Banda Aceh, renamed her 'Herawati' and made her work as a beggar, handing out frequent beatings to keep the girl obedient.

Last Tuesday, Mary refused to beg any longer, enraging the widow who put here on a bus to Meulaboh.

The area was among the hardest hit during the disaster, and Mary's father recalled how the family were torn apart by the massive waves.

"We were all in a pick-up truck, trying to out race the big waves that were headed our way," Tarmius said.

"We had hardly driven out of the village when we were hit by the first big wave," he recalled.

The truck with the family of two daughters and a baby boy was swept several kilometres away and came to a stop only after hitting a two-storey house.

"We tried to climb on top of the house, but my wife and baby got trapped between the car and the house building.

"I managed to get my daughters on top of the house and grabbed the baby just before another wave washed away my wife and daughters," he said.

"When I returned home that night I tried to find my wife and two daughters," he said, adding that he had found his wife the next day.

The pair began a search for the lost girls, traveling to different districts whenever there was word of survivors being found.

Their eldest daughter is still missing.

In December 2004, a giant 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that claimed 220,000 victims, with Indonesia accounting for three-quarters of the figure.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Japan's tsunami and nuclear disaster: a timeline
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 16, 2011
Here are key developments in Japan as the country prepares to announce the cold shutdown of stricken reactors at its Fukushima nuclear plant, nine months after a massive quake and tsunami triggered the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. - March 11, 2011: A 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the world's fourth largest since 1900, strikes off Japan's northeast coast, triggering a ... read more

More help arrives for Philippine flood victims

Room at the inn for Fukushima believers

Fukushima reactors may take 40 years to dismantle

UN calls for Philippine flood aid

Canada hunts for rare earth metals as China cuts back

Landmark discovery has magnetic appeal for scientists

New Take on Impacts of Low Dose Radiation

Need a new material? New tool can help

Nitrogen from humans pollutes remote lakes for more than a century

Data-driven tools cast geographical patterns of rainfall extremes in new light

IDFC: India's water supply at risk

What are the prospects for sustaining high-quality groundwater

Season's greetings from the other extreme

Will Antarctic worms warm to changing climate

Using new technology to record Antarctic Ocean, ice temperatures

Central Asian glaciers resist warming

More Canadian farmers going high-tech

Southampton researchers help to outline world's land and water resources for food and agriculture

Chinese scientist gets 7 years for stealing US secrets

New insight into why locusts swarm

Christmas Eve aftershock rattles tense N. Zealanders

Tanzanian deluge kills 23

Indonesia girl reunited with family after 2004 tsunami

Powerful quakes send terrified N. Zealanders fleeing

Bongo party wins landslide in Gabon vote: official

Fighter jets kill 10 in south Somali air raid: witnesses

First Djibouti troops join AU Somalia force

US special forces in Central Africa for LRA rebel hunt

Human skull study causes evolutionary headache

Malaysian 'lords of the jungle' cling to ancient ways

Mind reading machines on their way: IBM

I wanna talk like you


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement