Volcanic debris halts ferry services again

Massive volumes of pumice stones from an undersea volcanic eruption have once again forced ferry services to be suspended in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan.

The floating volcanic debris covered the waters of a port in Nakijin Village on the main island of Okinawa on Friday and Saturday. The stones caused ferry services connecting the port with two small islands to be canceled.

Strong winds cleared away the stones, and services were resumed on Sunday.

But the pumice returned around the port on Monday morning.

Of the eight daily ferry services, only the morning service from Iheya Island was provided, but its destination was changed to another location on the main island.

A man who was on his way to Iheya for work said that he needs to find a way to get to the alternative port where the ferry arrives.

People working at the port said they saw almost no pumice stones until around 7:30 a.m., but the debris filled the port in just two hours or so with the rising tides.