Beaches covered with pumice stones in Okinawa

NHK -- Oct 24
Large volumes of pumice stones apparently from the eruption of an undersea volcano have washed ashore on islands in southwestern Japan, turning sandy beaches into mounds of gray rubble.

Pumice stones began turning up earlier this month along the coasts of islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture.

The eruption occurred in August off the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific.

A massive amount of stones began to wash ashore in the village of Nakijin in the north of Okinawa's main island last Sunday.

A white sand beach about one-kilometer long that is managed by a local resort hotel is now covered in gray stones. And stones floating off the shore also pose a problem for people wishing to enjoy marine activities.

The hotel is being flooded with cancelations from schools within Okinawa, which had planned excursions for their students following the lifting of a coronavirus state of emergency.

Hotel staff are working to clean up the beach, but cannot keep up as more stones wash ashore.

Hotel manager Miyagi Yasushi says the main attractions of the area are the white sandy beach and the blue sea. He says visitors are obviously disappointed by the current situation. He is asking local authorities for help.

Footage from an NHK helicopter reveals the popular beach on nearby Kourijima Island, where a pair of heart-shaped rocks attract tourists, is also entirely covered with pumice stones.