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.



  1. willieslo says:

    “66-foot metal and concrete structure washed up on an Oregon beach”

    Something like that should have sunk to the bottom of the Japanese ocean!
    It is incredible how a 66-foot metal and concrete structure with all that weight could have made it all that distance to Oregon!
    That means 1.5 tons of debris has “already saturated the Atlantic coast.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. pasoparent5 says:

    A soccer ball made it from Japan to N America? Was his name Wilson? ha ha…get it? Tom Hanks’ film Castaway?? OK. Whatever… I’ve had enough politics for the month so I’m resorting to corny jokes.

    (-2) 30 Total Votes - 14 up - 16 down
    • Ted Slanders says:


      Corny jokes at the expense of many Japanese that lost their lives that fateful day?

      A hypothetical, that soccer ball might have been the ownership of a young child, and if the ball went out into the ocean, the child might have too. Your attempt at being funny is equal to your feeble arguments regarding politics. They both miserably fall short of the goal line.

      (-5) 35 Total Votes - 15 up - 20 down
      • Kettel says:

        “TOKYO (AP) — A teenager who lost his home in Japan’s devastating tsunami now knows that one prized possession survived: a football that made it all the way to Alaska.

        Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the ball is one of the first pieces of debris from last year’s tsunami to wash up on the other side of the Pacific.”
        (Soccer ball for you Americans)

        (2) 14 Total Votes - 8 up - 6 down
        • pasoparent5 says:

          Thanks for the info, Kettel.
          But Ssshhh. Don’t tell, it was actually a volleyball in the movie anyway…I’m just having fun.

          (-7) 17 Total Votes - 5 up - 12 down
  3. willieslo says:


    Up to a short while ago, Blue Fin Tuna were the only fish carrying radiation mainly because they mostly spawn near and around the oceans of Japan. The Yellow Tail for now were absent of any radiation primarily because they spawn mostly in the oceans around Oregon.
    The ocean deflection of sea water and radioactive debris back to Hawaii will pose a major problem to local Japanese restaurants as they order a lot of their sea foods from there.

    I think anyone who owns a seafood farm (fish, crustacean, and oysters) needs to do what marine biologist does and that is to constantly monitor the water they use.
    One problem is, it is very difficult to get a good sensitive Geiger counter and the batteries for it, which measure in the alpha range (antique prospector type).

    (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down

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