On Tuesday, the government reported that one of Tonga’s small outer islands was devastated by a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with three people confirmed dead.

With communications severely hampered by an undersea cable cut, information on the scale of the devastation after Saturday’s eruption, causing waves up to 50 feet high, has so far mostly come from reconnaissance aircraft.

Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni’s office issued a statement saying every home on Mango island, home to 50 people, was destroyed. On Fonoifua, there were only two houses left, while Namuka island had suffered extensive damage.

Curtis Tu’ihalangingie, Tonga’s deputy head of mission in Australia, described photographs taken by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) as “alarming” and showing a destroyed village on Mango and buildings missing on Atata Island.