A WOMAN is ‘missing’ after the eruption of an underwater volcano triggered a tsunami in Tonga.

Brighton-born Angela Glover co-managed a tattoo parlour and ran a dog rescue centre in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa.

In posts on social media, her family and friends said Angela and her husband James Glover were hit by the 1.2m (4ft) waves, but only her James was able to cling on to a tree.

Searches continue for the 50-year-old, who was swept away along with her dogs.

The tsunami was triggered by an underwater eruption on Saturday, which could be heard more than a thousand miles away in New Zealand.

Aid organisations say up to 80,000 people on the islands could be affected by the disaster, but so far no deaths have been reported.

The Argus: Angela GloverAngela Glover

Angela’s brother Nick Eleini told the Guardian he has grave concerns for her safety.

“What are we, 48 hours later? I don't think this is going to have a happy ending,” he said.

"James was able to cling on to a tree for quite a long time, but Angela was unable to do so and was washed away with the dogs, I think four or five dogs.”

Mr Eleini, who lives in Sydney but is travelling to Hove to be with his mother Jennifer, said the couple were housesitting when the tsunami hit.

"James went back to their proper house on the south coast of the island, but Angela didn't turn up. James contacted the police and the British embassy there, where he was able to notify us of what happened," he said.

Mr Eleini said the search for his sister is ongoing, but the wait is "excruciating", adding: "I can't even believe the words are coming out of my mouth, to be honest."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said communications are limited with Tonga.

"Nuku'alofa is covered in thick plumes of volcanic dust but otherwise conditions are calm and stable," she said. "We have not yet received news from other coastal areas."

Ms Ardern later said the main undersea communications cable was affected, most likely because of the loss of power.

The International Federation of Red Cross said it was mobilising its regional network to respond to what it called the worst volcanic eruptions the Pacific has experienced in decades.