Hours after the first of a series of gigantic eruptions from an undersea volcano located off the island nation of Tonga, Angela Glover posted photos of a blazing sunset on her Instagram.
“I’m not kidding you.... this is the sunset today after the volcano exploded last night,” the British animal shelter operator wrote in her caption on Friday.
The eruptions triggered tsunami warnings from Tonga to New Zealand to Japan, but the 50-year-old reassured her followers that “everything’s fine... a few swells ....a few eerie silences...a wind or two...then silence...sudden stillness... electric storms....”
But three days after posting the photos, Glover’s family said her husband, James, found her body during a search, after she was swept away by a tsunami caused by the colossal volcanic eruptions. James, a tattoo artist, was said to have survived the waves by hanging on to a tree.
Glover’s passing is the first reported death after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai undersea volcano erupted 40 miles north of Tonga’s main island.
The explosion—the biggest series of eruptions in three decades—expelled miles-high ash, gas and steam into the air. It also caused tsunamis, and giant waves swept shores all across the Pacific. Hours after Tonga was inundated, the internet in the country went out, leaving the world in the dark about the exact scale of the devastation.
Communication lines are still down three days after the eruptions, leaving overseas families, Tongans and disaster relief groups increasingly worried about residents. For Glover’s family, who live in the U.K. and Australia, news of their loved one only reached them after the 50-year-old was confirmed dead.
Before that, Donna Head, a close friend of Glover’s family, said in a public Facebook post that there was “very limited information other than they were both hit by the tsunami.”
“James held on to a tree but tragically Ange was swept away,” she also wrote.
Nick Eleini, Glover’s brother, told Sky News that Glover and her husband were hit by waves after they went home to get their dogs. “She loved animals and dogs particularly, and the uglier the dog the more she loved it,” he told the outlet.
“She always wanted to swim with whales, that was a childhood ambition, and that really is what drove her to Tonga,” he added. Glover moved to Tonga with her husband in 2015 and started the Tonga Animal Welfare Society.
A Polynesian country of over 100,000 people and about 170 islands, Tonga lies in the Southwestern Pacific. The volcano that erupted over the last few days is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region home to a majority of the world’s volcanoes and earthquakes. The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano has erupted several times in recent years, with the most recent explosion in December.
Though the official magnitude of these massive volcanic eruptions is unconfirmed, geologists warn that the worst could be yet to come. It may also take weeks before Tonga’s internet is restored, as the natural disaster damaged a crucial undersea cable that connects the island nation to the rest of the world.
Before the international community lost touch with Tonga, videos of waves crashing into the homes and buildings of residents were shared on social media. Tonga’s parliamentary speaker Fatafehi Fakafānua, who has yet to hear from his wife and family, has urged for immediate aid to residents.
To assess the devastation, Australia and New Zealand sent surveillance flights to Tonga on Monday. The New Zealand government said it would also send drinkable water to Tongan residents.
Two people have also reportedly drowned in northern Peru, after high waves were recorded following Saturday’s volcanic eruptions.