Australia and New Zealand sent flights on Monday to assess damage in Tonga, after the eruption of a volcano triggered a tsunami and blanketed the Pacific island with ash.

Australia's Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said initial reports suggested no mass casualties but Australian police reported significant damage with "houses thrown around." Tonga's airport appeared to be in relatively good condition.

The eruption and resulting tsunami cut off phone and internet lines for the entire island, as well as damage to an undersea cable, which could take more than a week to restore.