Briton who survived tsunami is safe after earthquake

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The Independent Online

A British woman who had been missing for four days after the Indonesian earthquake, having previously survived the Boxing Day tsunami, has been found safe and well.

A British woman who had been missing for four days after the Indonesian earthquake, having previously survived the Boxing Day tsunami, has been found safe and well.

Jo-Anne Wau, 27, who has lived on the island of Nias off the Indonesian coast for four years, called her family in Sheffield to let them know she had survived.

Her call followed four days of anguish for her family, whose concerns were heightened by the fact that after the Boxing Day tsunami, she had called home immediately. Mrs Wau was one of about 10 Britons who had been reported missing in the aftermath of the 8.7-magnitude earthquake that struck across the region on Monday.

News of her survival coincided with the discovery of a group of 11 missing Western tourists - including three Britons - found alive on the island. A helicopter, which was jointly chartered by British and Swedish officials, discovered the stranded tourists while searching for survivors on the island, which is popular among surfers around the world.

Describing the rescue, Christian Carlsson, a spokes-man for the Foreign Ministry in Sweden, said: "This was the first contact they'd had with the outside world since the quake.They're feeling well, considering the circumstances. They've been sleeping outside."

The discovery of Mrs Wau came a day after her mother, Annette Windle, from Dronfield Woodhouse in Sheffield, accused the British Government of not doing enough to help with the search.

Yesterday, she told the BBC: "Nine o'clock this morning we were hearing that nobody could get on, the weather was so bad and that the boats weren't even going to arrive, so we were envisioning another night with nobody there. And then less than 20 minutes later the call to say she's alive and well; so ... incredible."

Mrs Wau operates a bed & breakfast and restaurant business at Sorake Beach with her husband Robin, a local, whom she married last year.

She is now believed to be making her way to the Sumatran regional centre of Medan where she is planning to meet her father and brother who flew out to Indonesia to help find her yesterday.

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