Tons of tsunami debris float towards Hawaii, West Coast

9 years ago by in Travel

About 20 million tons of debris from the March 11 tsunami float towards Hawaii and expected to reach there by 2013 before arriving into the US West Coast by 2014 as projected by scientists.

The debris was comprised of TV set, refrigerator and other appliances. A fishing boat confirmed to come from the Fukushima Prefecture which was severely devastated by the tremendous tsunami was among the rubble.

A Russian training ship, STS Pallada which was sailing from Honolulu, caught a glimpse of the debris in an area of the Pacific Ocean where researchers from University of Hawaii expected it to be.

Scientist Jan Hafner said the debris would reach the US and Canadian coasts around 2014. Hafner together with oceanographer, Nikolai Maximenko, has been studying surface ocean currents since 2009.

When the massive March 11 tsunami hit Japan, the said researchers applied their research on Japan’s tsunami debris as they were washed into the Pacific. The scientists are said to use computer models to monitor the path of the tsunami debris.

The Russian ship contacted the scientists upon seeing the debris.

"From a scientific point of view, it was confirmation that our research was doing something right. It was big news for us. But it was mixed feelings because you can’t be excited about something as tragic as a tsunami," Hafner said.