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Wati, 8-Year-Old Indonesian Girl Swept Away by 2004 Tsunami, Found Alive and Well

December 22, 2011 by Brett Wilkins in Asia/Pacific with 4 Comments

An eight-year-old Indonesian girl swept away by the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has been found alive and well.

The Daily Mail reports that the girl, now 15 and identified only be her first name Wati, is originally from Ujong Baroh village. She was believed to have been killed by the massive magnitude  8.9 earthquake and tsunami that claimed more than 200,000 lives in several countries on December 26,2004. Her mother Yusniar was clinging to her three children for dear life as the waters raged around her, but she lost her grip on little Wati. She managed to save Wati’s siblings.

Her family had long since given up looking for the lost girl.

But when Wati’s grandfather Ibrahim was meeting with a friend in the city of Meulaboh recently, he noticed a girl who he thought might be Wati. He called the Yusniar and her husband and the couple went to go see the girl. Although she did not remember her family, her parents immediately recognized Wati from a mole and a scar on her elbow. Caution turned to jubilation as the family was reunited after seven long years.

What Wati has been up to since 2004 remains a mystery.

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4 Comments

  1. BillDecember 22, 2011 at 5:48 pmReply

    I’m glad the little girl has been found. Are you filling in between the things that would outrage me if I weren’t paying attention? Animal Cruelty whistle-blowers being treated as terrorists outrages me. But lost little girls being found and people mistaking Dubai for NY on a soda can sold in the Middle East look like filler.

    • Brett WilkinsDecember 22, 2011 at 5:53 pmReplyAuthor

      It’s a balancing act between doing the kind of stories that focus on important social justice issues and those that get clicks (which translate to ad revenue). Sadly, I did a post about Congress authorizing the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial and it got only a handful of views. But a story about a teacher who becomes a porn star or a man who screws a horse is good for thousands of clicks. Go figure. Thanks for reading, by the way.

      • jDecember 30, 2011 at 4:52 pmReply

        Maybe that’s because people who hate Americans kill people; strippers and guys who screw horses don’t. If someone is suspected as being a terrorist, I don’t care if they’re held indefinitely until death. Wake up and open your eyes, brother. This isn’t the America I grew up with. Your and your family’s lives are being threatened by those that hate Americans, Christianity and Judaism. Those people don’t much care WHO gets killed in the process of their elimination. I’m all for their detention. If we piss off a few people, so be it. This is an undeclared war on US, YOU, ME! Do you look forward to car bombs going off here in your city? It’s only a matter of time before that happens. THEN, after neighbors, friends, children and family have been killed by “Americans”, do you think you’ll be so “humane?” Do you read the papers? “People” who grew up as Americans are killing Americans, giving defense secrets to the enemy, Trying to blow up frigging planes!! Rather than add pathetic sympathy, comfort and encouragement to those that would like to see you and your family dead, why don’t you expend your writing abilities on educating people to the very real dangers of terrorism?

        • Brett WilkinsDecember 30, 2011 at 5:51 pmReplyAuthor

          Terrorists don’t just attack America because they “hate our freedoms.” You reap what you sow, and America has sown the seeds of war, imperialism, colonialism, racism, corporatism and, above all, hypocrisy. That’s why they want to kill us. And by the way, it looks like the propaganda fear machine’s got a hold of you, like it does over so many ill-informed Americans. Why do I say this? Because you’ve got a better chance of getting struck by lightning than you do of being blown up by terrorists. Final though: the sophistication of one’s weaponry is no measure of the civility of one’s side. In other words, people like you get all riled up when some jihadist asshole saws of an American contractor’s head with a knife– a guy who knew what he was signing up for when he left to work in a war zone– but you don’t think anything of sending a drone to slaughter dozens of women and children, or carpet-bombing a country and killing more than a million innocent people (Vietnam) and leaving deadly unexploded ordinance and chemical agents that are still killing and maiming by the thousands to this very day. So, I would ask you, which is the greater terrorist threat to the world? Some pissed off Muslims or the US of A, which has at its disposal the most fearsome arsenal the world has ever known– and a willingness, nay, an eagerness to use it. The United States, dear reader, is the true terrorist. The United States is the greatest threat to world peace. Nearly the entire world agrees. Wake up.

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