An Indonesian girl was reunited with her family seven years after she was swept out to sea by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
Now 14, Mary Yuranda, from Aceh, was believed to be dead, but instead had been ‘rescued’ and forced to work as a street beggar, her parents told reporters. Sky news said that, because of her age, she was considered too old to beg successfully, and was finally allowed to go free by the woman who had given her shelter.
Mary, who was only seven when the tidal wave killed 168,000 in Aceh alone, managed to persuade a taxi driver to take her to a city in Aceh near her home village, where she found her grandfather, Ibrahim, a leader in the Muslim community.
Her mother Yusnidar said any doubts that the girl was her daughter were put aside when she revealed birthmarks on her stomach and an unmistakable scar on her face. The parents had last seen their daughter when they put her and her older sister, then nine, on a roof to escape the floods. Their oldest daughter remains missing.