US Braces for Tsunami Debris, But Impact Unclear

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
The Japanese government estimates 1.5 million tons of debris is floating from the catastrophe.

A metal placard bearing Japanese writing was found attached to the dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach early June 12, 2012 1 mile north of Newport. The placard (photo attached), has been forwarded to the Japanese consulate in Portland, Oregon, for their review. The origin of the dock has not yet been confirmed.

The tsunami that devastated Japan more than one year ago washed millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. But the U.S. government and several West Coast states still don't have a clear plan for how to clean up rubble that floats to American shores.

There's also no firm handle on what to expect.

The Japanese government estimates 1.5 million tons of debris is floating from the catastrophe.

Some U.S. experts think the bulk of that will never reach shore. But others fear a massive, slowly-unfolding environmental disaster.

Oregon got a bulky remnant of the tsunami this week: A concrete and metal dock.

It measured 66 feet long, seven tall and 19 feet wide. Japanese officials say the dock broke away from northern Japan during the tsunami.


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