A 57-year-old Tongan man who said he swam around 27 hours after getting swept out to sea during Saturday’s devastating tsunami has been hailed as a "real life Aquaman."

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday killed at least three people, sent tsunami waves rolling across the archipelago — damaging villages, resorts and many buildings — and knocked out communications for the nation of about 105,000 people.

Lisala Folau, who lived on the small, isolated island of Atata, which has a population of about 60 people, was swept out to sea when the waves hit land at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, he said in a radio interview to Tongan media agency Broadcom Broadcasting.