In 2004, Meri Yuranda was washed away from her family and her small village of Ujong Baroh in the Aceh province during the devastating South East Asia tsunami. Her family assumed she was dead — but she wasn’t. A woman found the eight-year-old and “adopted” her, renaming her Wati, and forced her to beg on the street for change. This past week, the woman freed Wati from her servitude, and the now 15-year-old girl set about trying to reunite with her family — though she could only remember her grandfather’s first name, Ibraham. A kind cab driver took her to her home village and introduced her to the Ibrahim he knew, who happened to be her grandfather. He identified the missing girl by a small mole and scar she got when she was six years old. Her grandfather was then able to bring the girl to her parents.
The girl’s older sister is still among those missing from the tsunami. The 2004 tsunami killed more than 250,000 people. [ABC News]