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."

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Environment • Japan • U.S. • World
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. 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 !!!

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    This news is related to WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!!

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

      Happy Kwanza!

      December 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

      "MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM"

      Another whiny white racist creep. Happy Kwanzaa!!!

      ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      December 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Somratni

      Hope you're not out there roaming the streets of America. You're a danger to yourself and others. Get back on your meds.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Every time I see a White Nationalist/Supremacist spew incoherent sentences I just can't help it but laugh.
      They contradict themselves so much–and tend to be the least educated. They are also unlikely to hold a bachelor from an accredited 4-year University; even more unlikely to hold a Master's; and none of them hold Ph.D's (or other Doctorate degrees). They are also experts at psuedo-science and fallacious arguments.

      In one of my classes when I attended a University; one of my professors who was researching hate groups presented to the class the known white nationalist websites (Stormfront, VNN, and etc). He browsed through their site and showed us topics and several posts made by their members and we (the teacher and the entire class) couldn't help but laugh by the posts made. After seeing the website, I couldn't take that group seriously anymore. They are like a group of people throwing a child tantrum, spewing illogical reason–and of course be wary they will respond to you with pseudo-science that will make any Science majors, like myself, laugh their butt off!!

      December 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpm1228

      What the Hell???Go back to the rock you crawled out from under!!!!!

      December 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Dude... You are gnikcuf loony toons... Get a tinfoil hat and calm down.. You have to get your thoughts and ideas a little more organized.. And what did the video have anything to do with your point? I scanned 5 mins of it and didn't understand it.. Good luck space cadet!

      December 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      MKULTRA BRAINCHIPMAN, Wow, I think you need a new chip or some new meds.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      You are one sick brainwashed puppy who needs to get back on your meds asap.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Quick, before it's too late: Go to your doctor and get B vitamin injections. Your brain is probably suffering from a severe B vitamin deficiency. You definitely need medical help, before you manage to kill somebody.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • James R. Ruston

      Canada doesn't want you either. Try the Ukraine or Somalia.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • saltine

      Get back to your cave somewhere in the mountains, and stay off public library computers snow ape!

      December 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. u2canbfmj

    FDA says radiation is good for the skin, every vain idiot run to the beach.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Schfifty Five

    HUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUA Brasil es #1 HUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUAHUA

    December 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scottish Mama

    We need to pick up the recyc's and burn the rest. I wonder if some of the debris is radioactive? Get ready cause here it comes. Beach parties with fires burning J trash.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    @BOMBO:

    I got.
    Well done.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chicken flippers

    I hope some sushi comes floating my way..................mmmmmmmmmmmmmm sushi.

    December 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Flomangina

    You're also a child and your parents or adult guardian left their computer open.. And judging from your comments you'll be flipping burgers or mopping floors.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blubbertongue

    Sheesh...first Pearl Harbor and now this...how much more can we take from them?

    December 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I meant I got *it*.
    banasy© is tired today.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dawn Kosiek

    clean it up /ship it back to them and bill them for it

    December 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Dawn

      STFU and GTFO, troll.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Dawn is a fat polack. Let's send her there to eat all of it.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mag

      Folks, ingore this troll. He is a sad lonely person who has no life. He needs to get a reaction from people to justify his existence.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael J.

      Dawn, you're a moron.

      December 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • runner305

      Hey, what's your big problem with Dawn? You guys are like piranhas, for goodness sakes. No sense of humor, you people are cold and shallow to jump on her like that.

      December 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mosquito Coast

    This debris can't be any worse than NYC's trash that washed-up on Africas neaches. NYC used to just haul their trash out into the Atlantic and dump it. There is currently a heap of trash the size of Texas swirling around in the Atlantic. Yes. Gangsters and abortionists used to dump the dead bodies in trash cans. Nothing nuclear though.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinksome1

      What do you mean, USED TO haul their trash out and dump it

      December 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. more smarter

    The headline doesn't match the caption very well.
    My cat pointed that out to me.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Cats don't point, it is beneath their dignity. Your cat just told you.

      December 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. @Mosquito Coast

    STFU and GFY, troll.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Two Camps

    Ignore the trash and it will go away? Are you kidding me? Look at all the trashy trailer parks and inner city hoods we have. We've been ignoring them and focusing on foreigners for quite a while. And look. They didn't go away. Nor did I.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @Elizabeth

    Nazi Flying Saucers. Research what happened to them after Germany fell. Ty.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
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