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Indonesian girl reunited with parents 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 family after seven years as a street child, her parents said Friday.

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

According to her father Tarmius, she told her parents she had finally been let go by a woman who had taken her in and forced her to work as a street beggar.

A taxi driver helped her return home on Wednesday after she told him the names of her village and her grandfather, a well-known religious leader in the village, said her father, 42.

"The birthmarks on her belly, and a mole and scar on her face proved that the little girl was mine," her mother Yusnidar told AFP by telephone from the village home.

"I cannot tell you how grateful I am," the 35-year-old mother said.

Yusnidar was separated from two of her three children when the tsunami wreaked havoc on the Aceh coast and killed more than three-quarters of the 220,000 victims around the Indian Ocean.

Her eldest daughter remains missing, she said.

Indonesia was the nation hardest hit in the 2004 tsunami, with more than three-quarters of the 220,000 victims around the Indian Ocean.

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