British woman missing after tsunami hits Tonga

Angela Glover, from Brighton, disappeared after an undersea volcano erupted near the Pacific nation on Saturday.

Isobel Frodsham
Monday 17 January 2022 12:49
This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga (AP/Press Association Images)
This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite, shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga (AP/Press Association Images)

A British woman is missing after a tsunami hit the Pacific nation of Tonga.

Angela Glover, from Brighton disappeared after an undersea volcano erupted near the country on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing across the shore.

Her family and friends have appealed for information on her whereabouts, with Facebook posts stating that Mrs Glover and her husband, James went home to collect their dogs when the tsunami hit.

They added that Mr Glover held on to a tree while Mrs Glover and her dogs were washed away.

Mrs Glover’s brother, Nick Eleini, told the Guardian the former marketing and advertising worker had been living in Tonga with her husband since 2015.

She runs an animal rescue shelter in the country, called the Tonga Animal Welfare Society, while her husband owns a tattoo shop, called the Happy Sailor Tattoo Parlour in Nuku’alofa, the country’s capital, he added.

Mr Eleini has told journalists he is fearing the worst.

Speaking to Television New Zealand, in a clip which was aired by BBC Radio Sussex, Mr Eleini said: “She’s a great, fun, girl, just lovely to be around. We just adore her. The local authorities have been conducting searches, I believe they’re still ongoing although it’s daytime there. Look, it’s 48 hours. I’m not holding out much hope.

“I think it’s going to be a body recovery, sorry a body retrieval, rather than trying to find her. But I’m hoping. That’s all I can do.

“She grew from this party girl in London, she grew into the Tonga way of life. She really embraced it.”

New Zealand and Australia have despatched military surveillance flights to assess the damage.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference on Sunday power had been cut to the island as a result of tsunami, while an ash cloud has contaminated water. She added defence forces were working to get water and supplies to citizens.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-8 Poseidon aircraft departs an airbase in Amberly, Australia, to assist the Tonga government (LACW Emma Schwenke/AP/PA)

According to AP, the company that owns the single underwater fibre-optic cable that connects the island nation to the rest of the world said it was likely the cable had been damaged and could take weeks to repair.

Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, tweeted: “I am following with concern the situation in Tonga. The @UN offices in the Pacific are closely monitoring the situation and are on standby to provide support if requested.

“I am grateful to countries that have already offered their support.”

Unicef Pacific said it was ready to transport emergency supplies to Tonga, including water, sanitation, hygiene kits, water containers and buckets, water field test kits, tarpaulins, recreational kits and tents.

Olympian and Tongan flag Bearer at the games Pita Taufatofua has set up a GoFundMe page raising money for the nation.

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