Texas-Sized Island of Japanese Debris to Hit the West Coast of North America

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All At Once?

We’ve been reporting for years that huge quantities of debris from the Japanese tsunami would hit the West Coast of North America. And see this.

The Independent reports:

An enormous floating island of debris from Japan’s 2011 tsunami is drifting towards the coast of America, bringing with it over one million tonnes of junk that would cover an area the size of Texas.

The most concentrated stretch – dubbed the “toxic monster” by Fox News – is currently around 1,700 miles off the coast, sitting between Hawaii and California, but several million tonnes of additional debris remains scattered across the Pacific.

If the rubbish were to continue to fuse, the combined area of the floating junkyard would be greater than that of the United States, and could theoretically weigh up to five million tonnes.


The latest statistics come from a report last week by the US Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The NOAA commissioned the report in an effort to predict exactly when and where the giant floating junkyard would make landfall.


Some of the debris may have already crossed the Atlantic, however, with reports of Japanese fishing vessels washing up on the shores of Canada as long ago as winter 2011. If that proves to be the case, the levels of toxic junk already littering US beaches is likely to be high.

The Mirror notes:

Scientists have already discovered debris on the west coast but their latest findings suggest California is expected to be hit with a deluge all at once.

Maybe … but ocean currents are difficult to model over such long distances.  As the Independent points out:

The results suggest the movement of the debris remains wildly unpredictable,  with experts forecasting the bulk of the rubbish could wash-up anywhere between Alaska and Hawaii at any point in the next few years.

Some of the debris could be radioactive.

Articles by: Washington's Blog

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