Angela Glover: Body found in search for UK woman swept away in Tonga tsunami, brother says

Brighton-born Ms Glover was reportedly swept away by a tsunami as she tried to rescue her dogs

Holly Bancroft
Monday 17 January 2022 16:40
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Tsunami victim's brother describes 'devastating' wait for news
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A body has been recovered in the search for a British woman living in Tonga following the tsunami that hit the country on Saturday, her brother has told The Independent.

Angela Glover, 50, was separated from her husband, James, when a wave triggered by a volcanic eruption hit their coastal home in the low-lying Veitongo area.

Mr Glover was able to hold on to a tree but Ms Glover and their dogs were reportedly swept away. Her brother, Nick Eleini, has now told The Independent that a body has been discovered in the search for the animal charity worker.

He said: “I’m not aware that [her death] has been officially confirmed yet but a body has been recovered – that is my understanding.”

Mr Eleini later told reporters: “The body of my sister, Angela, has been found. Angela has always had a deep love of dogs and so started an animal welfare charity. I understand that this terrible accident came about as they tried to rescue their dogs.”

He added that he understands that it was Angela’s husband James who found the body during a search party for her.

On Monday, a friend of the family, Donna Head, posted an update on Facebook, writing: “The worst news possible has been confirmed by family members. Our Ange did not survive the Tonga Tsunami.

“I have no words other than I’m utterly heartbroken and numb. May our beautiful friend rest in peace. Ange, I will look out for your mum, I promise. Good night, God bless angel.”

It has emerged that Angela Glover posted a last Instagram post before she went missing describing the “eerie silences” on the island.

She uploaded an image of a blood-red sunset taken just hours before the tsunami hit with the caption: “I’m not kidding you, this is the sunset today after the volcano exploded last night. We’ve been under tsunami warnings today, everything’s fine. A few swells, a few eerie silences, a wind or two, then silence, sudden stillness, electric storms, everything looked like I was watching through an Instagram filter.”

Her brother, Nick Eleini, who is based in Sydney, has flown to the UK to be with his mother in Brighton. He described Angela as a “great, fun girl” who was popular with locals and loved the culture, 1news reported.

“She really embraced it,” he said. “She loved the Tongans. She just thought they were wonderful people.”

Describing the tsunami, he said: “James was able to hold on to a tree for quite some period of time. I don’t know if Angela was swept away immediately or whether she was swept away afterwards.”

On Monday after the news of a body being recovered in the search for Angela, Mr Eleini called her “beautiful” and “absolutely a ray of sunshine”.

“She would walk into the room and just lighten the room up and she loved her life. Both when she was working in London and when she achieved her life dream of going to work in the South Pacific. She always wanted to swim with whales and that was really what drove her to Tonga,” he added. “We are so proud of her achievements.”

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman reported missing in Tonga and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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