Tsunami debris reaches West Coast
June 8, 2012
More than a year after a tsunami ripped a large dock from Japan’s shoreline, the 66-foot metal and concrete structure washed up on an Oregon beach. [USAToday]
Japanese officials estimate the tsunami washed about 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. Of that, most sunk leaving about 1.5 million tons of trash floating towards the United States.
Scientist believe most of the debris will follow currents to join an accumulation of millions of tons of trash floating in the northern Pacific, dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Nevertheless, several items including a soccer ball and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in a shipping container have reached the North America coastline.
Experts say debris from the tsunami is expected to continue reaching the West Coast through 2014.
In California, however, coastal currents may deflect most debris back toward Hawaii.