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First Wave of Japan Tsunami Debris Reaches America December 23, 2011
Tsunami debris forecast
The bulk of the tsunami debris will take about two more years to approach the Pacific coast of North America.
Debris from last March’s devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami has been carried across the entire width of the Pacific, recently being found on the shores of Washington state and British Columbia.

“I found more debris in 10 minutes than I have in four years … and it’s all Japanese in origin,” Perry Schmunk, Mayor of Tofino, British Columbia, told the National Post.

Tofino is a community of 1,600 located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Beachcombers in Alaska are also on alert for the debris, but are being cautioned to approach any found flotsam with caution.

Beyond demonstrating reverence and respect for victims of the disaster, which the debris represents, people are being warned that some of it could be radioactive if it came from around the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Items that may drift ashore from California to Alaska over the next year or so include parts of houses, furniture, ships, boats, vehicle parts and just about anything else that floats.

In September, a Russian ship reported finding a large debris field about 2,000 miles from Japan.

The entire area of floating debris is estimated by some to be twice the size of Texas.

Graphic Data: NOAA