IMAGE: Triplets born to tsunami survivor
Binsar Bakkara  /  AP
A midwife checks the condition of the 7-day-old triplets, Nafara Ulfa, left, Khairun Nisa, center, and Asmaul Husna, at a hospital in Banda Aceh on Wednesday. The girls are the daughters of 44-year-old policeman Darmi Ali, who lost his three daughters and first wife to the 2004 tsunami
updated 2/28/2007 6:43:17 AM ET 2007-02-28T11:43:17

Darmi Ali lost his three daughters and wife to the 2004 tsunami. The 44-year-old remarried, and last week became a father again — of triplets, all of them female.

“I am overjoyed,” said Ali, a police officer who was back at work Wednesday at regional headquarters in Aceh, the Indonesian province worst hit by the giant waves. “I lost my three daughters, and now they have been replaced by three other girls.”

Many of the some 230,000 people killed across Asia were children, unable to swim or outrun the waves. Almost half the victims in the disaster were in Aceh, just east of where the giant earthquake struck.

Ali’s tale mirrored that of thousands of parents in the province that morning.

“I gripped onto one of my daughters but the tsunami took her away. I was also knocked over, he said. “I tried to grab her, but I was not successful.”

His three new daughters will remain in hospital until they gain weight — the smallest weighs just 2.43 pounds.

“I hope they all survive,” said Ali’s wife, Mariati, as she took a break from breast-feeding.

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