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Charity worker Angela Glover confirmed as first death of Tonga tsunami tragedy

An animal welfare charity founder has been confirmed as the first known death of the Tonga tsunami tragedy.

British woman Angela Glover’s body was found on Monday after she was swept away by huge swells caused by a massive underwater volcanic eruption.

Watch the video above for more on the Tongan tsunami disaster

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano, which erupted on Saturday, is located about 65km north of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, where the 50-year-old lived with her husband.

Ms Glover is understood to to have moved to the Pacific in 2015 following a career in the London advertising industry.

Dog charity worker Angela Glover has been confirmed as the first Tonga tsunami death.
Dog charity worker Angela Glover has been confirmed as the first Tonga tsunami death. Credit: Supplied

Her Sydneysider brother Nick Eleini confirmed the death on Monday, telling media his sister’s body was located “in some bushes” by her husband.

“I’ve not even got the words in my vocabulary to describe how we’re feeling at the moment. This is just a terrible shock, that it’s happened to us,” he said.

“We’re ordinary people – stuff like this doesn’t happen to people like us, then it does.

“I understand this terrible accident came about as they tried to rescue their dogs.”

Dog charity worker Angela’s body was found in bushes, her brother confirmed.
Dog charity worker Angela’s body was found in bushes, her brother confirmed. Credit: Supplied

Angela had a “deep love” for canines and founded the Tongan Animal Welfare Society to shelter and rehabilitate stray animals, her brother explained.

“The uglier the dog, the more she loved it. She just loved them all, she was totally dedicated to it.”

Final social media post

In a tragic twist, Ms Glover had shared an Instagram post of a sunset just hours ahead of her death.

In the snap posted following the eruption, she told friends and family that “everything’s fine” despite the country being on tsunami watch.

Ms Glover is the first known death in the disaster, caused when an underwater volcano erupted, sending a tsunami towards the Pacific island nation.

Experts said the volcano, which last erupted in 2014, had been puffing away for about a month before rising magma, superheated to around 1000 degrees Celsius, met with 20-degree seawater, causing an instantaneous and massive explosion.

The impact of the eruption was felt as far away as Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Japan.

But communications have been badly damaged, making it hard to establish the scale of the destruction.

A supplied image obtained Saturday, January 15, 2022 shows a satellite image of a volcano eruption in Tonga.
A supplied image obtained Saturday, January 15, 2022 shows a satellite image of a volcano eruption in Tonga. Credit: TONGA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES/PR IMAGE
In this satellite photo taken by Planet Labs PBC, an island created by the underwater Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano is seen smoking January 7, 2022.
In this satellite photo taken by Planet Labs PBC, an island created by the underwater Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano is seen smoking January 7, 2022. Credit: Planet Labs PBC/AP

Australia and New Zealand sent surveillance flights on Monday to assess damage and Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said Australian police had visited beaches and reported significant damage.

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