Watch out for pumice stones around Okinawa

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

Watch out for pumice stones around Okinawa

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

For the most part, swimming in November can be a little too chilly, even on Okinawa. But, if you are planning to visit the beach, you’ll need to exercise caution beyond concerns of chilly waters.

A large amount of pumice stones and pebbles began to swell up last month along the coasts of the island, clogging up some ports and inflicting damage to the fishing industry. These stones appeared due to an underwater volcanic eruption near the Ogasawara Islands, which are about 1,000 kilometers (approx. 621 miles) away from Okinawa. Removal of these pebbles is underway at several ports.

Though public beaches on the island like Emerald Beach and Zanpa Beach closed their seasons at the end of October, several private resort beaches like Manza and Moon Beaches are still open. Maeda Point, a popular snorkeling spot, is also still open but there have been several reported cases of pumice stones clogging snorkel tubes, according to the beach office.

Although these stones crumble easily, they can cause big problems in the water. So don’t let their fragility fool you. If you plan to go into the water, be safe!

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