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Girl presumed dead in tsunami 10 years ago reunites with family

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Raudhatul Jannah, 14, was presumed dead in the Indian Ocean tsunami that happened on Boxing Day 2004. (Source: MGN) Raudhatul Jannah, 14, was presumed dead in the Indian Ocean tsunami that happened on Boxing Day 2004. (Source: MGN)
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(RNN) - When the Indian Ocean tsunami hit a decade ago, an Indonesian family sifted through bodies believing one might have been their 4-year-old daughter, a search that finally ended this week.

Raudhatul Jannah was torn away from her family during one of the most destructive tsunamis in history and had been in the care of an elderly woman since then, according to DPA International, a German news agency.

The girl's uncle spotted her in June in an area nearly 75 miles from where she was lost.

However, there still remains a hole in the family. Older brother Arif Pratama also went missing and has not been located.

"We looked for them among bodies, of piles of bodies, but we didn't find them," father Septi Rangkuti told DPA. "After one month we resigned ourselves to the thought that they had probably died."

Raudhatul Jannah (she has no surname, common in Indonesian culture) has heard her brother lives in the Banyak Islands off the western coast of Sumatra, near the epicenter of the 9.1 magnitude earthquake that sparked the disaster.

The USGS reports is as the third-largest earthquake ever recorded.

The tsunami that hit on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) in 2004 was estimated to release energy equivalent to 23,000 atomic bombs released on Hiroshima.

It killed about 230,000 people and destroyed homes in 11 countries.

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