20 million-ton Debris from Japan Heads for U.S. Coast

Around 5 to 20 million tons of debris from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan are headed towards the Pacific. The island-like debris consists of furniture, fishing boats, house appliances, and anything that floats. According to researchers from the University of Hawaii who have been tracking the traveling debris, the whole wreckage could reach the U.S. West Coast within 3 years, the UK Daily Mail reports.

“We have a rough estimate of 5 to 20 million tons of debris coming from Japan,” said Jan Hafner from the University of Hawaii, in an interview with Hawaii’s ABC affiliate KITV.

There were more than 200,000 buildings that were washed out onto the sea by the said tsunami. Now, this large group of debris is being carried by a powerful current called the North Pacific Gyre. The current is carrying everything towards the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California before looping back towards Hawaii and Asia. [Read more…]