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Hawai‘i in tsunami debris path

November 3, 2011
The Maui Weekly

The Associated Press - Up to 20 million tons of tsunami debris floating from Japan could arrive on Hawai'i's shores by early 2013 before reaching the West Coast, according to estimates by University of Hawai'i scientists.

A Russian training ship spotted the junk-including a refrigerator, a television set and other appliances-in an area of the Pacific Ocean where the scientists from the university's International Pacific Research Center predicted it would be. The biggest proof that the debris is from the Japanese tsunami is a fishing boat that's been traced to the Fukushima Prefecture, the area hardest hit by the March 11 disaster.

Researchers estimate that the debris field is spread out across an area that's roughly 2,000 miles long and 1,000 miles wide located between Japan and Midway Atoll, where pieces could wash up in January. Just how much has already sunk and what portion is still floating is unknown.



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