In December 26, 2004, thousands of lives were lost in the Indian Ocean Tsunami. As one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded in history, the tsunami’s powerful magnitude of 9.0 killed an estimated total of 250,000 people and left 1.7 million residents across 14 different countries homeless.
Among those who had been affected by the earthquake was Indonesian girl Raudhatul Jannah, who was only 4 years old at the time, from Aceh province. When the tsunami hit, Jannah and her brother, who was 7, had been separated from their parents. Fortunately for Jannah, she was rescued by a fisherman who had found her on a remote island. He took her home to his mother, who raised Jannah as her own.
According to the Huffington Post, Raudhatul’s parents had launched a search for her and her brother after the earthquake, but had given up after some time and, hard as it was, came to accept that their children had died since there was no evidence that lead them to believe that they were still alive.
Ten years later, Raudhatul’s uncle spotted her walking along the street and could not ignore the girl’s resemblance to his niece. After they exchanges a few questions, it was confirmed that Raudhatul was the missing daughter believed to be dead by her family.
On Wednesday, Raudhatul was reunited with her parents and youngest brother Jumadi. Upon seeing her mother for the first time in a decade, Raudhatul was overwhelmed. “My heart beat so fast when I saw her,” she exclaimed. “I hugged her and she hugged me back and felt so comfortable in my arms.”
Though Raudhatul’s eldest brother is still missing, she believes that there is a good chance that he too may still be alive, and the family plans to continue the search for him.