Fears are mounting for the safety of a 50-year-old British woman who has been reported missing after being swept away by a 1.2-meter (3.9-foot) tsunami in Tonga on Saturday.
The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano eruption had caused tsunami waves to hit and flood parts of Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported as a result of the tsunami so far.
Angela Glover and her husband were reportedly swept away by the tsunami while attempting to rescue their dogs. Her husband, James, was able to cling to a tree, but Angela was washed away along with her dogs, according to reports.
Angela runs an animal welfare society in Tonga and owns a tattoo shop with her husband.
Her brother, Nick Eleini, who lives in Sydney, Australia, said the couple were house-sitting on the west coast of Tongatapu when the incident happened.
He claimed that one of the dogs had been found, but Angela’s whereabouts remain unknown.
“James went back to their proper house on the South Coast of the island, but Angela didn’t turn up,” Eleini told The Guardian, expressing concern for his sister’s safety.
He noted that James reported Angela’s disappearance to the police and contacted the British embassy in Tonga, where he was provided with a satellite phone to contact her family in the United Kingdom.
Tonga’s communication lines had been completely cut off due to the tsunami, and were only restored to some parts of the country on Monday. The Australian and New Zealand governments dispatched surveillance flights to the Pacific island on Monday to help restore communications and assess the damage.
Friends and family have also taken to social media seeking information about Angela’s whereabouts.
“We are still waiting for news and we are hoping, like everyone, that she is found safe and well soon,” South Pacific Animal Welfare said on Facebook.
The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano ejected a plume of ash, gas, and steam at least 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the atmosphere around 5:10 p.m. local time on Saturday in a one-in-1,000-year event, and then again around 5:26 p.m., followed by tsunami waves.
The volcano has been erupting regularly over the past few decades, but the rare atom-bomb-scale eruption on Saturday was felt as far away as Fiji, New Zealand, the United States, and Japan. Tsunami warnings and evacuation orders were also issued in many Pacific countries.
Two people drowned off a beach in Northern Peru due to high waves caused by the tsunami.
Reuters contributed to this report.