At least three people have died and many were injured after a volcanic eruption and tsunami destroyed an entire village on Tonga's Mango island, the government reports.

Communications with the island chain had been disrupted as the single underwater cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world was severed in the eruption.
Communications with the island chain had been disrupted as the single underwater cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world was severed in the eruption. (Uncredited / AP)

Tonga's government has confirmed three fatalities in its first official update since Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami, adding that evacuation of some outlying islands has begun.

In a statement on Tuesday, the prime minister's office confirmed the deaths of a 65-year-old woman on Mango Island and a 49-year-old man on Nomuka Island, in addition to a British national. 

A number of injuries were also reported.

The Tongan navy had deployed health teams and water, food and tents to the outlying Ha'apai islands.

Additional aid was sent on Tuesday due to the severity of the damage observed on Mango, Fonoifua and Namuka islands, the statement said.

All the houses were destroyed on Mango island, only two houses remained on Fonoifua, and Namuka island had extensive damage.

Evacuations have begun for Atata island, as well as Mango and Fonoifua, it added.

READ MORE: Distress signal detected in low-lying Tonga island

Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies showed that where most of the volcanic structure stood above sea level a few days ago, there is now just open sea.
Satellite images released by Maxar Technologies showed that where most of the volcanic structure stood above sea level a few days ago, there is now just open sea. (Uncredited / AP)

Covid-19 threat

Volunteers have been cleaning the runway of the main airport to let planes bring much needed drinking water and supplies to land.

Communications with the island chain had been disrupted as the single underwater cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world was severed in the eruption.

Many Tongans abroad have been waiting since Saturday's eruption to hear news from loved ones.

Meanwhile, the UN said it would try to maintain Tonga's Covid-free status when aid starts arriving.

Tongan officials have expressed concern that deliveries could spread Covid-19, with the country only recording its first case in October.

But UN spokesman Jens Laerke told AFP News Agency: "One of the first rules of humanitarian action is 'do no harm'. So we want to make absolutely sure that all necessary protocols for entry into the country will be followed."

The eruption was felt as far away as the US. 

In Peru, two people drowned in abnormally high waves while beaches near the capital Lima were closed off following an oil spill.

READ MORE: Volcanic ash delays aid to Tonga

Source: TRTWorld and agencies