Tonga government confirms three deaths and destruction on outlying islands

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Tonga’s government confirmed three fatalities in its first official update since Saturday’s volcanic eruption and tsunami and said the evacuation of some outlying islands had begun after the destruction of homes, including an entire village on Mango island.

In a statement, 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 with health teams and water, food, and tents to the outlying Ha’apai islands, with more aid, sent on Tuesday due to the severity of the damage observed on Mango, Fonoifua, and Namuka islands, it said.

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

Evacuations had begun for Atata Island, as well as Mango and Fonoifua, it said.