Tsunami debris spotted along West Coast
Debris is littered along the Japanese coast months after a tsunami and earthquake struck the island nation.
December 29th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Tsunami debris spotted along West Coast

Ten months after a tsunami devastated parts of Japan, some of the island nation’s debris has washed up on North American shores, according to news reports.

On Vancouver Island, B.C., The Sun newspaper reported that wreckage from Japan began appearing this month. "In or around Dec. 5th the first item or two of some consequence was found," Tofino Mayor Perry Schmunk told the newspaper. "Some lumber came ashore that had Japanese export stamps on it."

Two weeks ago, CNN affiliate KIRO in Seattle showed video footage of what it said was debris from the March 11 tsunami - at least 10 Japanese buoys - on the Washington coast. “That’s about as good as the evidence gets for first arrivals,” retired oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer told KIRO.

More reports of mundane Japanese items - such as bottles and toothbrushes - popping up along North American shores are beginning to emerge.

But that’s just the beginning, experts say.

Physicist Michio Kaku said Thursday that it is vital to understand the sheer size of the Japanese debris field in the Pacific Ocean.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/12/29/nr-tsunami-debris-on-us-shores.tvasahi"%5D

“First, you have to understand the size and scope of this problem. The debris field from this Japanese tragedy is the size of the state of California,” he said.

The recent findings have not come without debate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has denied that the debris can be definitively traced back to the tsunami. "Fingerprinting it back is challenging," NOAA's Peter Jackson told CBS News.

But scattered news reports along the Pacific coast paint a different picture:  A man found seven white Styrofoam floats shaped like 55-gallon drums in late September, Alaskan news station KTVA reported recently. The man sent photos of the floats to Ebbesmeyer, who said they were linked with oyster farms in Japan.

Hawaiian researchers are preparing studies that may allow more precise forecasts of the debris field spawned from the March 11 tsunami.

Tsunami debris in Hawaii at 2013? Maybe sooner

While the significance of the floating mass has yet to be fully understood by scientists, there is concern about what hazardous materials are out there.

Radioactivity will be of minimal concern despite the damage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant – “The debris is not that radioactive,” Kaku said - but the worst-case scenario could mean large boats and unmanageable clots of trash ramming into sensitive areas such as coral reefs or blocking navigation routes into Hawaii and along the U.S. West Coast.

"The first problem is hazardous materials, then we have toxic chemicals and also human body parts, sad to say," Kaku said Thursday. "Realize that over 3,700 Japanese are still unaccounted for and are expected to have been washed into the Pacific Ocean."

Post by:
Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Environment • Japan • U.S. • World
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. s kel

    Well.......clean it up.

    December 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO

    Get ready, British Columbia and Washington state, for the next wave of feet!

    December 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TCR C2

    Thats messed up dude ! Com on just be a little more sensitive

    December 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    lol @ s kel, just what i was thinking! Pretty easy solution isnt it?

    December 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MKULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to simply retard individual), NOT THAT CHANCES ARE, BUT YOU ARE SCHEDULED AT 100% RATE AS GOOD TO GO NEXT !!!

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2) IS SOOO BUSY WITH WHEN PLAYING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS WHERE CLOWNING(only) HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE WHILE KNOWINGLY OMITTING AND IGNORING FACTS OF GENOCIDE AS SEEN ON THIS COMPLAIN !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    This news is related to WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!

    EXILING WHITES WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETELY FREE

    December 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Pardon?

      December 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • florida

      Lol, I am one who believes our government is out to kill us, in the long run. But your un-educated, rambled up rant, is just that. An un-educated rant.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • james boyer

      tldr

      December 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      ligtened up francais

      December 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Someone please pass the tinfoil.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • twiddly

      No one will pay attention to long rants, especially when written in caps. So stop SHOUTING.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • jc

      Shut up,plz.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fortune Smiles

      @MKULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN – is this your pre-unibomber manifesto? Is this your admission you are retarded? Tin foil hat grown a few sizes too small or worn out?

      December 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • toejam man

      Brainchipman, you keep this up and you ARE NOT, I repeat, ARE NOT getting anything for Christmas next year!

      December 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • EARLY KYLER

      Damn and i was just about to have my chip implant upgraded to the next generation 16 core chip the intel IOU16 by the folks at FEMA/FANNiE/FREDDIE!

      December 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • randoid1234

      If you work with this guy, I'd probably start wearing kevlar to work.

      December 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flomangina

      @randoid1234
      ..could't have said it better myself!

      December 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Against whites, when the lower percent loans for houses were only given to whites, as proven in court testimony against banks? This is a very scary rant, and I hope that CNN passes along this e-mail to the Secret Service.
      If you are afraid that your brain is being affected: 1. Up the B vitamins, especially Niacin, B-12, B-5, and also vitamin D. 2. Use a toothpaste that kills germs without using flouride. 3. Don't cook with aluminum, or use deodorants that contain aluminum, or baking powder with aluminum. Also don't eat MSG much, or corn syrup at all. 4. Eat nutritious whole foods and get to sleep on time. 5. Play a little and pray a little, don't just work day and night. 6. Stop worrying; create. 7. If the above doesn't help, see a psychiatrist to find out of the aliens that abducted you in childhood left a tumor or maybe can be chased out with special medicines, or maybe talked about until the reason they came can be found.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stupidamerican6443752

    I wonder how many cameras have washed up?

    December 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Withabeat

    Misleading photo – why do you need to sensationalize this?

    December 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Will T. Fokke

    Sounds like it's time to go beach combing.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • sfduck

      or just pick up a comb on the beach

      December 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan Halen

    Hey CNN, how come every time I try and post a sensible, civil comment it never makes it on here, yet you put this garbage from MKULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN online?

    December 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      I feel your pain bro, trust me...I think there are certain words the block

      December 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hot Carl

    Wake me when the bodies start washing up.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 2bits

    Holy scavengers batman lets get out the metal detectors and go to the beach.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kirk

    Time to look for wallets on the beach!

    December 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Schfifty Five

    HUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUA Brasil es #1 HUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUA

    December 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    Has someone blamed Obama for it yet?

    December 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alex

    Hey, is it too early to go fishing for Prius' and playstations?

    December 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5