Up to 20 Million Tons of ‘Tsunami Trash’ Drifting Towards U.S.
October 25, 2011 11:22 AM EST
When water from the tsunami that slammed northeastern Japan on March 11 returned to the ocean, it dragged back huge amount debris, including pieces of homes, cars, furniture, fishing boats and refrigerators.
Hawaii researchers tracking the drifting trash from Japan since then now estimate its amount to be from 5 to 20 million tons.
University of Hawaii and International Pacific Research Center researcher Jan Hafner revealed the estimate to Hawaii's ABC affiliate KITV on Monday.
Hafner also estimated that the trash will reach the U.S. West Coast in trickles in three years.
Meanwhile, the tsunami trash has just passed the Midway Islands of the U.S. It is now 2,000 miles from Japan, according to the crew members of the Russian training ship STS Pallada. The Pallada crew even picked up a 20-foot fishing boat with the name "Fukushima," the Japanese prefecture directly hit by the tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake.
The Fukushima fishing boat encounter is the first confirmed report of the tsunami debris, according to Hafner.
Hafner, who developed computer models of the trash plume, said the floating debris will first hit Hawaii's coast before reaching the U.S. and Canada.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton's Pregnancy Hearsays: Possible Evidence Revealed [PHOTOS]
- National Ice Cream Day: Most-Ordered Flavors and Toppings by Americans [See Photos]
Join the Conversation
- HIV Cure: First Effective Cure to Have Long-Term Remission; 3 Factors to Check on Inactive Virus
- Coming Soon: AntiViral Gel in Condoms to Kill HIV Virus
- Melbourne Man Gives Up Sex For a Year; Donates £50,000 in Charity
- FDA Prioritises Review of ‘Abuse-Deterrent’ Painkiller
- Tree of 40 Fruit: A Tree That Produces 40 Fruits in New York
- Fresh Leak Hints iPhone 6 Price and Release Date; 4.7-Inches iPhone 6 Sapphire Display Scratched in Test; New Spigen Cases Out
- iPhone 6 2014 Release Date Very Soon as Apple Orders 120M New iPhones from Foxconn – Report
- Google Nexus 6 on Release Date Will Sport 2K Display Panel & Lower Price Tag – Report
- Motorola Moto G Vs. Xiaomi Mi3 – Low in Price, High -level Features
- FCC Approves Sony Xperia Z3 for U.S. Market
- Killer Xiaomi Mi4 at $369 Likely to Come With 5.0-Inch Display, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 3GB RAM and More
- End of Times Indicators: Japan’s Mount Fuji in ‘Critical State’ to Erupt, Could Affect At Least 1.2M People