Pumice stones wash ashore on Tokyo's Miyake Island

Racks of pumice stones from an underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean have washed ashore on Miyake Island, one of Tokyo's southern Izu islands.

Local officials and fishers reported on Friday that floating pumice had reached Miyake Island.

On Saturday morning, an NHK crew found pumice stones stretching along about 15 meters of beach in the eastern part of the island.

The crew also saw strips of pumice floating offshore.

Workers are rushing to lay oil barriers at the mouths of five ports on the island by the end of Saturday to prevent the stones from entering.

Since early November, small amounts of pumice stone have been spotted in waters around the Izu Islands.

Researchers at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or JAMSTEC, have released results of a simulation that suggest a large amount of pumice could reach the islands over the weekend.

Pumice stones began to wash ashore on beaches in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, in mid-October, affecting the fishery and tourism industries. Most of the stones have been found on Okinawa's main island.

On Saturday, strips of small pumice stones, measuring less than one centimeter in diameter, were found on a beach on Miyako Island, about 300 kilometers from the main island.