Japan Tsunami Debris Floating Toward Hawaii

Up to 20 million tons of debris caused by tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 is forecast to land at the United States shores by 2014, according to a report by University of Hawaii. Researchers said the debris are expected to reach the Midway Islands by this winter and reach the West Coast by early 2014. Some of the remains will gradually sink before they reach the U.S. shores but the bulk part of the debris is going to hit United States soil, University of Hawaii’s Jan Hafner told journalists.

Japan Tsunami Debris

At present, the remains are heading toward Hawaii and are moving faster that predicted by scientists. Environmentalists voiced concerns that the floating remains can threaten North American coastlines and endanger the safety of small ships in this region of the Pacific Ocean.

A catastrophic earthquake hit Japan in March, causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl by ruining the Fukushima power plant. The quake caused a massive tsunami and both disasters took the lives of some 20,000 people in Japan in the spring.

The researchers have developed a digital model to track and predict the movement of the debris floating toward the U.S. with recent data showing their model is working and correct.


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