Debris From Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Could Reach California Coast Soon

Waste from Japan's 2011 earthquake is still reaching California coasts.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Sep 10, 2012  |  Updated 2:20 PM PDT
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Tsunami Debris Could Reach CA Soon

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Over a year after the slightly-bigger waves comes a wave of debris.

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Memories of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan and caused the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl are fading for some. But the California coast is about to receive a reminder.

And lots of it.

"Fishing nets, lumber, plastics, household items, foam pieces and possibly chemical or oil drums are other things from Japan expected to make landfall anywhere from Alaska down to California and Hawaii," according to scientists, part of the 5 million tons of debris washed out to sea following the March 11, 2011 disaster, according to reports.

Already, pieces of Japan have made their way to the West Coast -- a motorcycle, boats, a bit of a dock, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald.

About 70 percent of the varied detritus washed into the Pacific sank, the newspaper reported, but that means 1.5 million tons are still floating, according to reports.

This will comprise at least some of the junk volunteers will see Saturday during California's 28th annual Coastal Cleanup Day, the newspaper reported.

The waste is not expected to be radioactive, the newspaper reported. But it might be.

"The reactors didn't melt down until days after the wave hit, and the wave hit a wide area," an expert told the newspaper. "That said, there is the potential of other dangerous stuff."

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